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Dingo Hardcover – March 13, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird; First Edition edition (March 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142408166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142408162
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—De Lint ingeniously incorporates Aboriginal mythology into an intriguing story. Miguel, 17, is minding his dad's funky comics and record store in a small resort community when a girl dashes in with her dog to escape the town bully. Miguel feels an immediate connection to her, but there is something strange about her dog. Gradually, he discovers that Lainey is a shape-changer, a magical creature from Australia's Aboriginal past, and the dog—really a dingo—is actually her twin sister. The girls are hiding from their father, who wants to sacrifice Lainey to the powerful Aboriginal spirit Warrigal, the original clan leader, who is trapped in a tree. Suddenly Miguel is catapulted into a rain forest fantasy world complete with a talking cautionary turkey, haunted ancestral bones, and mysterious spirits. Fantasy lovers will enjoy this tale of an initially clueless protagonist thrust into a dangerous situation where he's expected to become an instant hero. A somewhat unnecessary subplot involves the town bully, who actually has a heart of gold and a tender artistic side, and is drawn into the adventure when he falls for Lainey's twin. Still, the juxtaposition of contemporary teen life with fantasy is well done. Readers might be interested enough to investigate more about the complicated Aboriginal Dreamtime of Australia and its early clan spirits and creation myths.—Quinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Seventeen-year-old Miguel is drawn to beautiful Lainey from the moment she and her dog appear outside his dad’s comics and music store. He soon learns that this Australian teenager and her identical twin are shape-shifters, sometimes appearing as young women and sometimes as dingoes (the ancestors of all dog breeds), but that doesn’t change his sudden, deep affection for her. Meanwhile, Miguel’s nemesis, Johnny, troubled and a troublemaker, has fallen in love with Lainey’s sister, Em. Together, the four venture into the dreamworld to challenge the power threatening the twins. Canadian fantasy writer de Lint draws from Australian lore to create otherworldly elements in the novel, making smooth transitions from everyday settings to altered realities within Miguel’s accessible first-person narrative. The occasional use of coarse (though appropriate to the characters) language may keep the book out of some middle-school libraries, but with its appealing jacket art, this tautly written, imaginative fantasy will find its audience. Grades 7-10. --Carolyn Phelan

Customer Reviews

The climax of the action is just not that exciting.
Bibliophilic
Before reading one of his Newford books, I hadn't realized that this amazing genre of Urban Fantasy existed, let alone that it could be as lyrical as a fairy tale.
R. Stemm
I never really got a feel for who the characters were.
La Coccinelle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ms Judy on August 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dingo started out ok; I thought it was going to be the typical deLint, set in a music/bookstore. But once the supposed Australian mythology came in, it just fell to pieces for me. deLint knows enough about Amerind mythology to know that symbols don't transfer neatly from one tribal/ethnic background to another, so why didn't he have an Australian (or an American who has lived more of her life in Australia than in the US, like me) give him some advice. There's a lot that can be made of Australian Indigenous mythology, without stepping on Secret Mens/Women's Business, but just mixing them all up, as he tries to do in Dingo, doesn't work for me.

The two twins can't behave that differently because each was present when the other interacted with Miguel. The dog he described wasn't even a dingo. They're skinny, underfed-looking dogs. They don't "look" powerful, even though they are.

deLint has done so many things so well that I'll read anything he writes, and always come back for more, but what a disappointment this was to me. A little research would have made it much more credible.

Ms Judy
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By La Coccinelle on November 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a fan of many of Charles de Lint's books, and when I picked up this one, I was hoping for another good young adult fantasy along the lines of "The Blue Girl". However, "Dingo" fell far short of my expectations.

The writing felt flat to me. I never really got a feel for who the characters were. This could be due to the fact that they all spoke the same way, using the same words, and that the teenagers didn't really speak like teenagers. Without the speech attributions, it would be difficult to tell the difference between Miguel, his father, Lainey, Em, Johnny, or even the villain. A few Aussie slang words did little to help the reader differentiate between the characters; without them, the speech patterns were basically the same.

At times, I even wondered if I was reading a book for much younger readers... but with the addition of a few choice swear words from the book's quasi-villain, Johnny Ward, that theory was soon quashed. Miguel's comment about homeschooling and evolution further showed that de Lint really doesn't know much about today's young people.

There were also a number of editing problems. Just off the top of my head, I can recall inconsistent capitalization, inconsistent names, an extra unnecessary pronoun, and a missing paragraph break. I expect more from the books I read. Sadly, it seems today's publishers do not.

Basically, "Dingo" follows the pattern of many of de Lint's novels: protagonists meet person(s) with strange qualities, get sucked into world of mythical creatures/dreams/spirits, and find their way out again. But "Dingo" didn't seem original or exciting enough to really stand on its own as a good example of de Lint's work.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RealDeal on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again another wonderfully written story by Charles De Lint. I have to say I'm never disappointed when I read any of his books and I've been reading them for years. It doesn't matter if they were written for kids or adults they're all great. I recommend him to everyone, once you start you can't stop. The characters are just wonderful, you fall in love the moment you meet them, the locations are magic. I love how he describes and manages the meld the cross over from fantasy to reality, the blend is perfect, seamless. You don't know where one begins and the other ends. I catch myself wondering more about the things I encounter and can't explain and think, if only... You won't be disappointed with any of his books, you'll enjoy them for a long time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Parkhurst on January 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely LOVE Charle's de Lint's writing so when I saw that he had another new book out I just had to have it! I was expecting a usual de Lint novel, something that touches you with its mystery and beauty so when I opened the book and found that, well, it wasn't really 'up to snuff' I was devastated!
It has the touch of Charles de Lint, but the writing is like someone else's! I felt none of the mystical beauty from his other books, instead I found myself disappointed in this average novel that did absolutely nothing for me! Sure, I like the IDEA, but the execution...well, I just expected better. I suggest that if this is your first time reading de Lint that you find one of his short story anthologies or maybe start with his other two new novels: The Blue Girl and Little Grrl Lost, both amazing. This isn't up to par.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lore on October 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've been a de Lint fan for years. This book...was just awful. He has written to the young adult audience before, and it wasn't as lousy as this.
Angst-filled "She's my girlfriend!" and "I'm in love!" exclamations - Oh, gag, really? Did de Lint really write this?
Besides being so...juvenile, what was with the ridiculous stereotypes? Does de Lint even KNOW any homeschoolers? "Sitting at the kitchen table all day" - are you kidding me???? And what was with the pointless and unnecessary swipe at Catholicism thrown in there at the end?
As I said, I have been a fan for years, but this is FAR from his best, and I would be embarrassed to even recommend this to anyone who didn't already know his work.
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More About the Author

Charles de Lint and his wife, the artist MaryAnn Harris, live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His evocative novels, including Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, and The Onion Girl, have earned him a devoted following and critical acclaim as a master of contemporary magical fiction

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