PAWS – A story of friendship

Paws, Friends Are What Happen When You're Making Other Plans by Kate Foster  | 9781760652661 | Booktopia

Life isn’t straightforward and can be overwhelming for 11 year-old Alex who has autism. Sometimes his confusion and frustration lead him into trouble. But we can’t help but connect with Alex who always means well and hates knowing that he has upset people.

Alex is desperate to win a trophy with his adorable cockapoo Kevin at the PAWS dog show because he believes that this will make people want to be his friend.

He and Kevin have been training for weeks for the tricks and obedience categories but when Alex tries to enter the events they are full and his plans are derailed.

Alex doesn’t cope well with change. He needs order and predictability in his life to help him feel like he’s in control so he’s devastated at first.

If he’s to have any hope of Kevin winning a trophy, it will have to be in a category that he hasn’t previously considered. It takes great courage to step outside his comfort zone, and try something new and in the process, Alex learns that you don’t need a trophy for people to want to be your friend.

Full disclosure, I love dogs and clearly the author of PAWS does too, but that wasn’t the only thing that drew me to this heartwarming story.

The character of Alex is so endearing and well drawn that it felt as though he were sitting beside me as I read his story. I love his authenticity and how he grows and changes.

Author, Kate Foster with PAWS

The writing is lyrical and beautiful and although PAWS is sensitively told, there is plenty of tension as the book moves towards the climax and we become more and more invested in Alex’s story and the outcome, which isn’t what you expect. The author uses gentle humour to add layers to Alex’s character and his story.

This is a heartwarming story of friendship and courage from Kate Foster and Walker Books Australia.


“The author based her story on real-life experience. After adopting a spoodle called Claude, he made an immediate bond with her youngest autistic son. He seemed to sense that her son needed someone to help him always feel safe and calm. Claude knew when he was sad or stressed or anxious and would become a barrier, sitting close by, even standing over him, and comforting him.

A story that demonstrates how autistic brains don’t always come with the templates of human interaction and emotion that neurotypical people usually have. And shows how many autistic people have to build these from scratch, learning through mirroring and masking and often hard emotional lessons and confusing rejection.”

TUESDAY WRITING TIPS BLOG TOUR – Adding Layers to Your Story

Tomorrow at Tuesday Writing Tips, we’re visiting Robyn Opie’s blog to talk about how to turn your 1200 word story into a 10,000 word published book.

Robyn will share her experiences writing her highly acclaimed, Black Baron, published by Walker Books in their Lightning Strikes series.

Hope you can join us then when we chat with Robyn about how to add layers to your story.



Tuesday Writing Tips is going on a blog tour tomorrow. It’s a cross blog tour… nothing to do with anger management or people getting narky with each other. In fact, it’s a very happy occasion where two blog tours are going to interconnect.

Children’s author, Claire Saxby has a wonderful new Picture Book out today called There Was an Old Sailor. So, to celebrate its release, I’m going to visit her as part of my Tuesday Writing Tips Tour and she’s going to talk about writing picture books and Leaving Room for the Illustrator. Claire will have some great tips for Tuesday Writing Tips followers.

In the forthcoming weeks, I’ll be visiting other great blogs and collecting more writing tips along the way.


This is what’s happening on the Tuesday Writing Tips Tour:

2ND February 2010 Claire Saxby’s blog

Writing Picture Books – Leaving room for the illustrator.
9th February 2010 Dee White’s blog

(That’s here!)

Reviewing ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ Reviewing vs Editing skills.
16th February 2010 Sandy Fussell’s blog

Writers Need to be avid free range readers
23rd February 2010 Robyn Opie’s blog

How to make your story longer – adding layers.
2ND March 2010 Angela Sunde’s blog

More about Point of View – head hopping.

Hope you can join me on tour  every Tuesday for the next few weeks for some great Tuesday Writing Tips. Just visit each Tuesday and follow the prompts and I’ll direct you to the next stop.

On Tuesday 9th February, Claire will visit my blog as part of her There Was an Old Sailor Tour. I’ll be reviewing her book and talking about editing vs reviewing skills. Claire will also have  a tip for us on reviewing – so this will also be a Tuesday Writing Tips Blog Tour visit.

Sound complicated? I thought so too, but really it’s quite simple. Here are some other great places you’ll be able to catch up with Claire on tour:

Monday 8 February: Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children <>

Tues 9 February: Dee White’s Tuesday Writing Tips <>

Wed 10 February: Dale Harcombe’s Read and Write with Dale <>

Thurs 11 February: Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s books <>

Fri 12 February: Lorraine Marwood’s Words into Writing <>

Sat 13 February: Mabel Kaplan’s Tales I Tell <>

Sun 14 February: Sandy Fussell’s Stories are Light <>


  • Twice the tips!
  • Twice the fun!

Hope you can join Claire and I on our ‘interconnecting’ blog tours.

Happy writing.