Book Awards, Reviews and Tours

Darby’s Story and Bangle Bear encourage pet adoption, within each book helps guide families to choose the best pet for their home. Each chapter unfolds a fun filled adventures, based on a true story of a single mother and a young boy. Within the stories each animal presents a blended family issue, life lessons a child can understand, a mother’s hopes for her growing son, and courage to support a grown son’s decision to join the USMC. The worries the family experience “on deployment”. When at the end of the day, it’s all about love and devotion.The third book: Finding Your Way Home, will grab your heart, when life throws you a curve ball, you still learn to open your heart and find acceptance. Goober and Widdles, two stray kittens adopt us. Oddie has a mother to love her while her Dad leaves for out of town work. After four long years the son comes home, and dealing with the effects of war.The Trilogy are a delightful family/children books encourages pet adoption. Starting with a heart felt story of a single mother and 5 year old son wanting a special gift for Christmas. Each book is ideal for reading level 4 grade and up. Suitable for summer reading list and class rooom book reports.


“It gives us great pleasure to inform my readers that Darby’s Story and Bangle Bear has been named among the best in family friendly media, products and services.”

The Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Recipient

Honoring Excellence

This award will enhance my mission to inspire more pet adoptions,  support non-profit animal groups and Literacy Organizations.

Thank you MCA.

Book: Animal & Pet Care (Find under adult category for family reading)

BOOK Tours and Reviews:

My Photo Read Noah’s Interview with Darby, through the eyes of a rescue dog. 
From The Dog’s Paw – A bloggery of Dogs and Cats Part 1  
From the Dogs Paw Part 2
writing, writers, blogsNicole Pyles had the opportunity to read Darby’s Story and Bangle Bear’s books. I am so pleased to share with other animal lovers the special message these two books offer.
Nicole’s Blog The World of My Imagination

 Chicago Animal Advocacy Examiner A spot on moment, Keith created a pin supporting rescues for dogs.

My Photo Get to know the person, become good friends. Dicy McCulloughs: Living to Learn

Raychelle WritesRaychelle Writes ~ Writers Block Interviews

All Things Dog Blog by guest blogger, Kristine Tonks of Rescued Insanity

I don’t take the time to read children’s books very often. When I heard about Darby’s Story: The Life of an Adopted Dog by Martha Steward, I jumped at the opportunity. Any book starring a sweet rescue dog is automatically on my reading list. I doubt anyone could look at the cover of this book without falling in love. This isn’t a typical boy-meets-dog story. After all, neither Darby the husky mix, nor Drew the young child, are quite conventional. The book begins with the author and her son, Drew, attending an adoption event at a local pet store. Instead of rushing toward the energetic puppies, the two think carefully about the kind of dog who will best fit their lifestyle. Once they spot quiet Darby, relaxing in his crate, they take the time to get to know him first before making the big decision to bring him home. This way they ensured that not only would they be happy with Darby, but he would be equally happy with them. It’s an important message for all who are thinking of owning a dog.The rest of the book goes on to illustrate the funny and interesting ways in which a dog added to the life of Drew and his mother.  As the boy grew up, Darby was there to keep him entertained. Sometimes it seemed Darby was more of a sibling than a pet. The two even competed for prime seating in the car. Throughout the story, the small family went through many changes. They moved to a farm and adopted several other animals. Each one, especially the cat, provided a new challenge for Darby. I enjoyed Steward’s insertion of her guesses at what could be on his mind. Like many dog owners, I often do the same.

By the end of the tale, I was on the verge of tears. As we all know, the life of a dog is much too short. They could live for centuries and it wouldn’t be long enough. The author dealt with the last few years of Darby’s contented life with delicacy. Steward even included valuable notes on helping children say goodbye to a beloved friend. There was sadness, of course, but also joy for the memories they shared. In my opinion, Darby’s Story is the perfect bed-time story book. While younger children may have a difficult time grasping some of the concepts, I think all would enjoy snuggling down to hear about Darby’s fun adventures with his multi-species family. I know the photo of the large dog sleeping with the baby goat will give me pleasant dreams for many nights to come. 


Darby’s Story is an inspirational book about how adopting a pet can bring so much joy to you and your family. Darby lived a full fifteen years and touched many people with his big heart. Darby also had an adventurous side.

This inspiring book of Darby’s life shows just how bringing a rescue pet into your life can entertain and enrich. Darby was an incredibly loved family member. In an industry where we see so many devastating outcomes, do what we do. Children and adults of all ages should hear this story, it inspires caring and compassion for all living creatures.

Denise Johnson, Director, Lake County Animal Care and Control


Gaining in popularity as an educational tool for uncertain adopters, this short book tells the heartwarming story of Darby, an unwanted, sheltered, rescued, and ultimately adopted dog, who brought great joy and happiness to his adoptive family.

Given its format, this book is an excellent children’s introduction to the issues, challenges, yet clearly underscoring the rewards of compassion through animal adoption, while maintaining a positive, cheerful message.


From Chris Holmes DVM Wasson Memorial Vet Clinic

 I must say that reading Martha Steward’s “Darby’s Story” was better than I anticipated.  I hear stories every single day about the wonderful personalities of people’s rescued dog, how smart they are, how loving they are…As a veterinarian I KNOW how rewarding it is to adopt and save the life of a homeless dog.  They simply become loved family members instead of ending up on Death Row due to pet overpopulation.  Everyone has a story about why they think their dog must be smarter or somehow better than the average dog. 

Martha’s story stands out though, because she writes about the final days of Darby’s life.  This is something that is hard for all of us and I think she does an excellent job taking the reader through the entire emotional process.  This is well worth reading to children, or adults, that are about to go through that rough emotional time losing their best friend.
Chris Holmes, DVM
Wasson Memorial Veterinary Clinic, partner
Rescue work with in Mexico, as well as numerous other local rescue groups

Darby’s Story: The Life of an Adopted Dog” Book Review

January 27, 2011 by Paris and John  
Filed under Books, Reviews

Title: Darby’s Story: The Life of an Adopted Dog

Author: Martha Steward

Publisher: AuthorHouse

DogTipper Book Review: When Martha Steward, a single mother, and her 5-year-old son, Drew, decided to add a dog to their family, they were initially overwhelmed by the large number of  rescue dogs from which to choose.  They considered many canines, spending time with each one. Eventually, they spotted a large Husky mix lying quietly in his kennel. His name was Darby and was judged to be about one year old. After a short time visiting with Darby, they knew they had found their special dog. Thus began a 15-year relationship as Darby became a beloved member of the family.

Although the book is simply written and is presented as large, colorful paperback, its content can be appreciated by adults as well as children. And, that was the author’s intention in writing the book:

“My mission is to help…animal rescue organizations by providing Darby’s Story for financial support and to draw awareness to animals needing forever homes.”

In that spirit, she intends Darby’s Story to be more than a good read (which it is) but also a learning aid to educate the public about the plight of  shelter dogs and the tremendous potential each of them has to become beloved pets. Darby’s heartwarming story captures the incredibly rich experience of having a dog as part of the family.

Martha Steward plans three more books based on her personal experiences with adopted pets. The next in the series, Bangle Bears: the Tale of a Tailless Cat ( her adopted Manx) will be released in Spring, 2011.

For More Information:

Product Disclosure: We received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. We were not compensated for our review. We only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers



Midwest Book Review May 2010

“Darby’s Story” is the tale of an adopted dog, called a rescue dog, named Darby. His family spends 15 happy years with him after adoption and his history is heartwarming and inspirational. The story of Darby may increase a compassionate outlook for animals in need of a permanent home. There are certainly many rewards for both participants and rescue animals. Vibrant color photos of Darby spice up the pages of anecdotes about Darby. The story ends with a particularly moving account of Darby’s passing after suffering with cancer. “Darby’s presence is still in the house. I am not a firm believer in ghosts; however I do believe in the spirit. When you look into the eyes of a pet, there is a personality, a character, and a spirit. You see, God makes all things, and I do believe each pet has his own gift to share with us. When a pet passes away, the spirit goes back to God. Animals know who God is. They are not separated from God, and they did not fall from God’s grace. They are in tune and know a sense of peace that we still struggle to find. (pp.27-27).” “Darby’s Story” was written by his adoptive family mother, but the reading level of this gentle chapter book is easily accessible for children age 10 and up. “Darby’s Story” touches hearts of all ages.
COPYRIGHT 2010 Midwest Book Review
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved



The Writer’s Block Interviews: Martha Steward

Read the inspiring interview with host Raychelle Muhammad Read the Interview on Writer’s Block

LitWorld ~ Read Out Aloud ~ WRADvocate

Read Out Aloud participation keep on sharing with others, here’s my interview for being a WRADvocate! WRADvocate Profile: Martha Steward

DateFriday, March 2, 2012 at 8:41AM

Martha Steward is an award-winning author of  two children’s books inspiring pet adoption, blended family issues, and the courage to be a Marine Mom. 

Darby’s Story and Bangle Bear are both MCA Silver recipients for Best in Pet and Animal Care. Martha ‘s blog Darby’s Story and More shares information for would-be pet adopters, literacy programs, and features stories to inspire. 

As our WRADvocate, Martha Steward will be reading out loud at 2pm, Lakeport Public Library on High Street, Lakeport, California.

Read more about Martha below!

WRADvocate Profile: Martha Steward


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