In Rosco Jack of Gateway Farm, author Ken Bangs chronicles the struggles of a castaway puppy abandoned at the gate of his farm in the piney woods of East Texas. The story celebrates the classic struggle of the less advantaged against the obstacles of life that challenge even those who are best prepared.
The story has its roots in Ken's experience in caring for disadvantaged and at risk children in the custody of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
After serving 35 years in law enforcement and public safety, the last 25 as the Director of Police, Security and Student Safety Services for the Plano ISD, Ken retired to Gateway Farm near New Boston and established a home for these children. Here he gave them a home, encouraged them to believe in themselves and their ability to make a life for themselves, and worked to foster a hope for the future in each child.
Over the years, he watched success after success for those who caught the vision and refused to surrender to their life’s circumstances.
Then came Rosco. Dumped at the front gate in the middle of the night this three-pound runt evaded predators, outlasted the night, and made his way to Ken’s house. His struggle was just beginning. Life was hard for the pup. But he refused to quit and eventually achieved his goal -- a place alongside the big dogs of the Gateway Posse.
Rosco Jack is the perfect blend of fantasy, drama, humor and learning. It is a great read for the young, young at heart, and for all those who love to root for the underdog.
Rosco Jack of Gateway Farm is an exceptionally well-written book that will delight readers of all ages. Told in third person with plenty of dialogue to carry the story forward, the adventures of little Rosco unfold for the readers and show the special bond between dogs, dogs and their humans -- and vice-versa.
With plenty of teachable moments, twists, and turns, author Ken Bangs tells a story that goes several directions. Bangs gives readers a peek into what the communication between animals might be like, but he also dips into the fantasy world with a humorous show-down between the well-spoken Big Blue, an ornery catfish, and Rosco's master, Ken. The addition of Big Blue added a bizarre but funny side story and with a little elaboration, it really could have been a short story all its own. As an owner of a Jack Russell Terrier (mine named Rusty - pictured below), I chuckled at many of the scenes and descriptions of how little Rosco always acted like he was a big dog.
The writing is gentle and gentile and suitable for all audiences -- until the exciting climax towards the end of the story. Sensitive readers are cautioned that the animal attacks particularly towards the end are quite realistic and as such, graphic and potentially upsetting to younger readers. -- Hall Ways Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Ken Bangs is a native Texan who grew up in the then small town of Plano. By the time he was ten years old he knew for a certainty that he wanted to spend his life as a police officer. Following high school graduation Ken joined the Dallas Police Department and was walking a beat in downtown Dallas at the age of 19.
Ken spent 35 years in law enforcement and public safety the last twenty five as the Director of Police and Security Services for the Plano ISD. After retirement Ken and his wife Trudy moved to a farm outside of New Boston Texas where they established a home for children who were in the care of the Texas Child Protective Services. For the next ten years they devoted their lives to these disadvantaged children. An ordained minister Ken also served as the Senior Pastor for Regions Christian Center in Texarkana.
A veteran of the United States Army Military Police Corps, Ken holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice, a M.S. in Human Relations and Business Management and a Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Counseling.
Ken and Trudy have been married 45 years and now live in McKinney, Texas.
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