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A Dog for Life Hardcover – October 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 910L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385733666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385733663
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,340,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–Like Matthews's Fish (Delacorte, 2004), this is a tale about a journey of discovery and the importance of holding onto the things that matter in troubled times. John Hawkins, the narrator, and his brother, Tom, have a dog that can communicate with them psychically. When Tom becomes ill, the doctor says that the pup must go, but the boys know that Mouse is essential to Tom's recovery. To keep the canine from being sent to the pound, John and Mouse set out on a journey to find a temporary home for the dog with an uncle they haven't seen in years. Along the way, they encounter an ineffectual New Age healer and her family, a scientist who performs experiments on stolen animals, and a persecuted Roma family who help them reach their goal. Although John and Mouse encounter some disturbing situations, the childlike tone and magical elements of the narrative keep it age appropriate. Mouse is an engaging character whose wry observations of the foibles of human beings contrast with John's naïveté, and readers will be rooting for the pair to succeed in their quest. Highly enjoyable.–Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As young John Hawkins tells it, you may have heard his story: on a journey from the north of England to the south, John and his dog, Mouse, save a drowning child, rescue several ponies marked for death by a money-grubbing scientist, and make sure a gypsy family is safe from a mob. But John feels no one has gotten his story quite right, so he's telling it himself, beginning when his older brother, Tom, is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Then comes more disheartening news: Tom's susceptibility to infection means no pets are allowed. But Mouse is no ordinary dog. Mouse, Tom, John share a special bond: they can read each other's thoughts, and together they come up with a plan. John will head to the home of the boys' uncle, and leave Mouse there until Tom recovers. Yes, there are problems with the plan. They haven't been in touch with Uncle David for years, and there's not enough money for a train ticket. But that doesn't stop the intrepid travelers. This is a little gem--part adventure and part heartfelt family story, dusted with magic realism. True, the premise is a little weak, but after that initial head-scratcher, the story sails forward in picaresque fashion, told in John's resolute voice. Everything is a bit unexpected here, except for the satisfying end. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
L.S. Matthews' A DOG FOR LIFE tells of Mouse, who is anything more than an ordinary pet dog. John and his brother got Mouse when they were kids and they discover early on that Mouse is as clever as a person - but when Tom falls ill and Mouse may be sent away to the pound, the brothers have to do something that involves a dangerous journey to find a temporary home for Mouse.
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By Hailey Thorsen on May 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a magnificent full of adventure,action,and it was the best book I have ever read. I LOVED THE BOOK
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By JuliaSnell on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
bought this for my step son which he adores dogs and he saw this book he tried to read it himself yet his mom is reading him a chapter a night for him at bedtime
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By Sharon Azar on October 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautifully written book and a deeply touching story.
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More About the Author

L. S. Matthews (born August 29, 1964) is the pen name of Laura Dron, a British children's author of several critically acclaimed novels.
She lives in Dorset on the Jurassic Coast with her husband and has two grown-up children.
She is a professional artist under her real name, producing paintings, digital art, sculpture and innovative 3D works. She is also an Early Years Professional, IT consultant to that industry - when she has time.