This is an excellent combination of actual history and family growth and love. It reminded me of Anne of Green Gables in that Tom is an orphan being farmed out to a family. And what a wonderful mother and father he finds - plus a very memorable dog. The story tells a lot about this remarkable dog, Thunder, and the Nefoundland breed, as well as the life of the fishermen of Newfoundland. The earthguake which makes an exciting part of this story actually happened and is recorded just like it happened.