From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—Ann Martin's moving story (S & S/Feiwel & Friends, 2009) shifts between three main characters' points of view: a dog named Bone, who was born wild in a barn; Henry, who desperately wants a dog; and Charlie, who survives the death of his brother through bonding with his brother's dog. Bone, along with his sister Squirrel, are discarded in a mall parking lot. (Squirrel's story is told in Ann Martin's A Dog's Life: the Autobiography of a Stray
[Scholastic, 2005]). Bone is rescued, given away, and finally abandoned to live as a stray. Charlie is tormented by the death of his brother, who fell from a tree where he allegedly climbed to get Charlie's kite. Henry, whose parents are both librarians, has tried for years to convince them to let him have a dog. As their refusals become more adamant, his resolve to be more responsible grows. There are hints early on that Henry will adopt Bone, but readers will be surprised at the relationship revealed between Charlie and Henry. Martin fully develops each character, drawing listeners into their struggles. David Pittu's narration is methodical and measured. Dog lovers will be enthralled by this audiobook.—Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI
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“Animal lovers of all ages will cherish this moving tale of man’s—or in this case, boy’s—best friend.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Martin's book honors the unique companionship and healing powers that have earned dogs the title of man's best friend, and it will resonate with both the reader who is already a dog owner or who, like Henry, pines to be one.”—Shelf Awareness
“[Martin] artfully alternates and gradually weaves together threads from the canine and human tales until the three stories converge in time and space into a completely heartwarming and satisfying finale. Essential fare for fans of the perfectly crafted canine tale.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“This is a sensitive, gentle read that surrounds its occasional heartbreak with plenty of hope and warm feelings.”—Booklist
“This is a touching and ultimately happy story that will appeal to fans of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Shiloh (S & S, 1991) and Fred Gipson’s Old Yeller (HarperCollins, 1942), as well as to a wider audience.”—School Library Journal
“It is clear that Martin is not writing a conventional dog story but a serious and very fine book about life, death, and the need to keep going in order to find joy again, whether one is a human or a dog.”—Horn Book Review
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