Book Review of The Kona Dog by Ruth G. Zavitsanos

27 Sep

I was blessed by Ruth with a chance to review her beautifully written book The Kona Dog. This book is part of her series featuring some of the world’s cutest dogs. It’s a quick read that kept me thoroughly engaged and rooting for Akela’s family plantation.

The Kona Dog book cover

Here’s what Ruth wrote about her book:

Akela, THE KONA DOG, brings a smile to everyone she meets. She is sweet and caring to all those working and visiting the coffee plantation and pineapple grove. To please her master, Akela makes her rounds on the plantation, assuring safety and offering encouragement with her gentle ways.

When the plantation is threatened with closure by the banker man, Akela and her master’s older son, Keoki, join forces to enlist the banker’s daughter, Penny. Akela knows something makes the girl sad. If they get her to laugh and smile, perhaps they can save the plantation. But Penny isn’t talking, and the plight of Akela’s home doesn’t look good either.

Faced with defeat and the loss of her home, Akela must use all of her bravery and instinctive abilities to bring everyone together. Can she soften their hearts in time to stop the banker man?


I don’t want to spoil the story for you so I won’t give too many details but I want to highlight the things I loved about this book and what your young child will too.

As many of you know, I come from a military family.  I have been all over the world and have visited Hawaii. It’s absolutely stunning and no matter where you are; the smell is overwhelmingly enticing. Sweet and fruity with a hint of coffee. Hawaii is one of those places that has to be seen to be fully appreciated and Ruth does a great job of highlighting the landscape and scenery in her story.

I love that the author includes a history of the Hawaiian island of Maui, where the story takes place. For readers that haven’t traveled, this helps bring the book to life. And it was really fun learning the Hawaiian words she included at the end. What kid wouldn’t want to impress their friends with another language?

Here are some Fun Facts about The Kona Dog, Akela.

  • She has a best friend named Dolly. Dolly is a dolphin. How cool is that?
  • She is a hero in the book because she finds Penny in a ravine and saves her.
  • She can warm the heart of anyone that comes in contact with her.
  • Kona means “Lady” in Hawaiian.


As a mom and Helicopter Mom at that, I found the thoughts from Akela The Kona Dog about her mother in the book, most touching. The way the dog (author) describes their relationship is absolutely beautiful and so very true for all of us. Even though we must let our children go, we are ever present and keeping a mindful eye on their lives.


Tweet: Akela the Kona Dog says  There is nothing like a mother’s love.


This book was wonderfully written and includes a dog, how can you go wrong? I can’t wait to read the others. Enjoy the book?  Let the author know on her Twitter page.  Purchase her books on her Author Page.  She also writes Romance!

Ruth G. Zavitsanos began writing at the age of 12. Growing up outside of New York City, she attended many Broadway plays and The Kona Dog authormusicals that served to stimulate her imagination. While attaining her Journalism degree at Marshall University she received numerous writing awards. She has been published inWriter’s Digest magazine and had an in-depth article in a Delaware Beach Life magazine. Ruth is a member of PennWriters, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Valley Forge Romance Writers Group and Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, Flight of Little Dove, a historical romance, received five star reviews and is a book club selection for several independent bookstores. Recently, her second historical women’s fiction, Sisters Inn was released with high acclaim.
Ruth’s children’s books, The Villa Dog (an Epic Award and a Main Line Today staff pick) , The Old Fortress Dog and The Kona Dog (all third grade book club reads), have been embraced by children, parents and the educational community.
Ruth enjoys Pilates, zumba, cooking, reading, music, photography, snorkeling, bicycle riding, walks with her canine kids, and travel. Sharing her joy of writing with young students and encouraging them to put their imaginative stories on paper gives Ruth great satisfaction. She and her family reside outside of Philadelphia, PA in Chester County.
Ruth can be contacted at Feel free to visit her website at

15 Responses to “Book Review of The Kona Dog by Ruth G. Zavitsanos”

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