Book Reviews


Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas is a children’s holiday story book written by Buck Boylan. There were still two weeks left before Christmas Eve, and the elves in Santa’s toy factory had been working full-time to get everything ready for the big night. Now the factory elves were sleeping in Santa’s house until it was time to wake up again and start a new day. The reindeer were in their barn, a big and brightly colored building where they ate, slept, and even had a heated pool to exercise in, and elves were busily cleaning their straw bedding and replacing the old bedding with new, clean straw. Bruce the Fire Dog was taking some time off from his rounds and relaxing a bit inside the Reindeer Barn after he had taken a refreshing dip in the pool. As he rolled around in the clean straw, his senses instantly went on alert -- he could smell smoke! As he watched in horror, sparks flew off one elf’s pitchfork and landed on dry straw. And that was the beginning of a devastating fire storm at Santa’s Toy Factory. Bruce tore through the barn to get to the fire bell tower. He rushed up the stairs and jumped high to grab the rope for the fire bell. Bruce tugged with all his might to make the bell ring loud and true. Soon, the North Pole Fire Department and townspeople were out and doing their part in putting out the raging fire, but the factory had been burned to ashes and Santa’s favorite reindeer were singed and injured. What would happen to Christmas this year?

Can Christmas be saved? Buck Boylan’s humorous action holiday book for children, Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas, gives readers a first-person account of the fire and the resulting efforts made by Santa and his team to save Christmas as told by Bruce the Fire Dog. Bruce is a Dalmatian who takes his job very seriously, and his vigilance and prompt action does save Christmas, but he gets a bit of help from Bob the Elf, Bob’s crackerjack team of super reindeer, and a heavenly host of angels. Children who enjoy stories with excitement, action and adventure will love this story that shares the inside scoop of what goes on at the North Pole in a fun and original way. Boylan’s story is suspenseful, and it nicely celebrates the natural diversity of our world. The illustrations are great fun and an excellent accompaniment to the story as it unfolds. I found myself referring to them repeatedly as I read. Bruce the Fire Dog Saves Christmas is most highly recommended.




Book Reviews


Excerpts from "Kirkus Reviews"

"A lighthearted tale"

"Boylan emphasizes the theme of cultural diversity..."

"Readers can excitedly match the vibrant descriptions with the corresponding illustrations, which are elaborate, colorful, and delightful"  

"Excellent opportunities for children to visualize numbers and learn new vocabulary."

The full Kirkus Review in it's entirety can be viewed at

Book Reviews


The Humorous Side of Trucking


 Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Humorous Side of Trucking is a collection of nonfiction memoirs written by Buck Boylan. Boylan has been a steelworker, scuba enthusiast and long-haul trucker, and his stories, columns and articles have been published in magazines and newspapers. His acceptance to a local tractor-trailer school arrived on the same day as his last unemployment check from his stint at Bethlehem Steel. He'd be learning how to drive big rigs courtesy of the Maryland Department of Unemployment and Retraining, and they'd even pick up his transportation costs and incidental meals while he was training. Boylan was exuberant at the thought of his new career -- he'd get to see the country and get paid at the same time. The adventure began as he and twenty-four fellow students attended classroom sessions and practical training forays that were often punctuated with unpredictable and often hilarious mishaps, otherwise known as accidents. Boylan did complete his course with flying colors and, accompanied by his school's driving instructor, went to the Maryland DMV, where he passed both his written and driving tests. Now, all he had to do was find a job.  Buck Boylan's The Humorous Side of Trucking is a joyful and irresistible homage to the open road and the ever enticing lure of adventure. Many who did not answer that call in their youth will no doubt find themselves remembering, as indeed I did, those times when getting enrolled in a school for tractor-trailer operators was a mighty tempting career option. Boylan's descriptions of the wild and open places he's gotten to travel through had me revisiting that path not taken more than once. I loved reading about his travels and had a grand time vicariously experiencing the mix-ups, magic and all-around general craziness he’s encountered in his professional life. We also share a love of water, and his scuba stories are brilliant. The Humorous Side of Trucking is a delight to read, and it's almost impossible to put down. Boylan has an instinctive gift for communicating with his audience, and he does so in a smooth, unpretentious and conversational style. The Humorous Side of Trucking is most highly recommended.  

Book Reviews


The Humorous Side of Trucking

 Reviewed by Miranda Visser on Good Reads

Rated it liked it ***

Sometimes I pick up a book that is totally out of my typical reading lane, this one I put on order at my library because the description and title just ticked a box in my unconscious.

Working at a warehouse for a time, I have a layman's familiarity with trucking. Boylan's descriptions of his middle-class life, values and time spent on the road were an enjoyable read. He describes his life with candid perspective and makes no apologies while acknowledging the pros and cons of the experience... and some funny tales along the way. 

It's a quick read and I recommend it if you have an interest in seeing this little written about perspective.