Duke Book Trailer Debut

How much do you love your dog?

Are you brave enough to give him away?

 duke picm

I originally wrote this post in November 2013 after Kirby Larson’s book launch for Duke. Recently I had the chance to create a book trailer for her book, so I decided to update and repost the article. I took the majority of the photographs myself in Seattle. Using the PhotoStudio iPhone app, I artificially aged the photos to make them look old. I also used Creative Common photos, where people give permission for you to use the photo. I did obtain permission from the artist of one photograph and received another from Kirby herself. I wonder if you will know which picture is of Kirby’s dad?  Usually I make book trailers using Photostory3, Windows MovieMaker or Animoto, however, this time I decided to try out the iMovie app on my iPhone. There is a book trailer template available, and within an hour or so, I had the rough draft of my book trailer made. Really, anyone with a little patience, some photos and love for a book can make a book trailer! Here is the original post, with the book trailer at the end.


The poster in his classroom seems to be screaming at him. Are YOU doing all you can?  Hobie struggles inside. Is he really doing everything he can to help his dad? He’s saving all his dimes to buy war stamps. He’s helping his Uncle Tryg and trying to be the man of the house for his mom.

Is it enough? Hobie hears about the Dogs for Defense program where people with well trained dogs can donate them to help the war movement. Hobie has spent hours training Duke and the military could use him to sniff out mines or help patrol borders. It is important work and Duke would be a great defense dog.



From the moment Hobie says yes, and watches Duke leave, he regrets his decision. What if Duke doesn’t come home? What if his Dad doesn’t come home? Does Hobie have what is takes to be this brave? You will have to read Duke and find out!

Kirby had a book launch party at Third Place Books in the fall of 2013. She talked about her love of history, the research about Dogs for Defense and the backstory she used from her own family that developed into the book. You can also watch an interview with Kirby talking about her book.

Duke launch collage

Kirby is a serious dog lover and a portion of the proceeds went to Reading with Rover, a local reading organization where children read to dogs and practice their reading in a fun and non-stressful way. Along with some other Reading with Rover teams, Reese and I had the opportunity to attend the launch of Duke at Third Place Books.


If you would like to learn more, visit Kirby Larson’s website and find out about other books she has written. Update: April 2014 – Reese has now retired from  Reading with Rover. At almost 7, he is  considered an old dog in the Bernese Mountain Dog breed.  He really likes his naps and occasional walk around the block. The Duke launch was his last official outing and I’m thrilled it was to promote a book featuring a fabulous dog!

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2 thoughts on “Duke Book Trailer Debut

  1. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Happy Easter to you and not forgetting your beloved dog too. I just love reading books about animals. I really feel that life without a pet animal would be so lonely.

    Just recently my parents lost their pet dog which they had over 20 years. It was so awful for during this time my mum spent a couple of months in hospital. All that time my dad was so lost with out his best mate “Bluey ” the dog. Bluey would sit with my dad, and they would go for long walks together. Then one day my dad decided to get another dog. When my mum was able to leave the hospital when she arrived home there was Wally waiting for her. It was such a special day as we all had a tear in our eye. My mum had no idea that there would be another pet waiting for her. Wally has settled in well and just follows my parents around as I tend to get the feeling that he knows that they are special as he is to them. Mind you in saying this we still will never forget our old pet dog.

    Pet dogs/animals give so much unconditional love.

    From a animal lover,

    AA 🙂

    • Dear AA,
      I am so excited to hear from you! I hope you had an enjoyable Easter as well. I know exactly what you mean about pets giving you unconditional love. My little dog is currently asleep on the couch right next to me as I type this post. My big dog Reese is downstairs with his “daddy”. He hurt his back leg almost 4 weeks ago and can’t go up the stairs. He gets too sad being alone, so we take turns staying with him and watching television. I bet Wally makes your parents smile more than they even realize, and is helping them heal through their loss. Dogs are amazing animals and I can’t imagine life without one to give me kisses in the morning and dog hair in the butter in the afternoon! 🙂
      A two-dog librarian,
      Mrs. Hembree

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