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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A dog's life

Youth's book about his pet wins an award

Like many children, Marshall Whitcomb, 11, knows the heartache of a pet's death. And like many authors, his experience and grief led him to write a book.

The member of Our Lord Lutheran Church, Maryville, Ill., wrote The Trumanator: the real-life adventure of a Welsh corgi named Truman. Chapter 1 states: "My story will have romance, tragedy, funny situations and all that other junk."

Written from a dog's perspective, the story includes Truman's life of chewing, obedience school, begging, digging and a stint in doggy prison.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Marshall's first dog, Woody. His mom, Cindy, describes the writing process as a spiritual experience because Marshall could bring closure to mourning Woody's death.

She also says Truman deepened the family's understanding of grace and forgiveness — at times his chewing and disobedience have caused them to reconsider the responsibilities of pet ownership.

Printed by the Whitcomb Family Publishing Co., Marshall's story was submitted to the Illinois Young Authors' Program, which celebrates the written work of kindergarteners through eighth graders. For his effort, Marshall won the Illinois Young Authors' Award and was recognized at a conference in May at Illinois State University, Normal.


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