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What the Dog Said Hardcover – February 28, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Animal lovers will relish the details about training service dogs, readers will follow Grace's determination to have her father's killer brought to justice, and all will find her hard-won healing inspiring."- School Library Journal

. Grace's search for the truth about the shooting gives the novel an edge; her discovery assuages her guilt and brings her a bittersweet peace. Even with a talking dog, Reisfeld's novel is moored by believable characters, dialogue, and emotions." - Publishers Weekly

"I loved this book! I learned all about how to train a dog that helps kids with disabilities. Grace was the coolest person."  -- Sharyn Kail, 13

"Rex is a talking dog, but only Grace can hear him. He shows her how to find her father's killer. She shows him how to help sick kids. I cried at the end." -- Karen Berchman, 11

"My mother-daugther reading group chose this one. I am glad they did! Grace, who is 13 was sad when her dad died, but Rex the dog made her happy."  -- Stefanie Greenberg, 12

From the Author

I love dogs and have had many of them. I just got a Barbet puppy named Desmond Jones. He is black and curly. I would like to train him to be a therapy dog, but so far, he is too rambunctious and excitable. The best part of writing this book was getting to see how service dogs are trained and how they help disabled people.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159990702X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599907024
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm an author of tween and YA books, reader, writer, advice-giver, TV addict, dog person, friend and family lover--basically, someone who'd rather sit and write, email, text, play Words With Friends incessantly--pretty much anything but exercise.

My newest for-Kindle books include the popular T*Witches series -- about teen twin witches separated a birth, and what happens when they finally meet. Check 'em out!

Find out lots more on my website, www.randireisfeld.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I will be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for any story featuring talking animals. I will usually pick up any new release that features a talking pet, so when I encountered What the Dog Said, I was expecting something pretty par for the course. With the adorable mutt on the cover and the fresh faced smiling girl on the back, I was looking forward to some good old animal/human relationship humor. What I received was totally unexpected and even better. What the Dog Said turned out to be an incredibly perceptive look at grief and one young girl's struggles to cope with the sudden death of her father. Sure, there were some funny moments. Rex is a great character who I enjoyed from his first appearance when he tries to talk Grace into adopting him. Yes, the dog does talk through most of the book, but is it Rex, or her own magical thinking?

At just 238 pages, there is quite a bit packed into this well plotted, fast paced story. The reader learns quite a bit about canine assistance programs, but the instructive nature never overpowers the narrative. The reader gets true insight into the program and the wonderful work these dogs and trainers do in order to provide companion animals to people with disabilities. Grace is a complex character, and her relationship with her sister Reagan is particularly well done. Their dialogue rings with authenticity, and the growth of their relationship was perhaps one of my favorite parts of the story. Grace goes on quite a journey with Rex, as she confronts one of the young men involved in her father's shooting, learns more about her father, and her own power of forgiveness. This is just a rich, moving story that is a recommend for any young reader grades 5 and up. I enjoyed it thoroughly, staying up late just to finish it so I could pass it along. This novel addresses grief in a way that is very accessible to teens and tweens, and was an unexpected gift.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ntropi on April 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a well written book that will have special meaning for anybody who has faced loss at a young age and the reality of having to cope with a disability that can't always be hidden.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gene Keiser on May 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this was a terrific book. The story is about a girl who loses her father in a gang related killing. The girl has a difficult time dealing with her father's death and her mom and sister want her to get back to being herself. The story sounds true to life and addresses real life situations. It covers grief, loss, and how to get on with your life after suffering a terrible loss and knowing that the murderers are loose and you can't do a thing about it. I loved how the author kept your interest and the dog's character was wonderful. The dog helps the girl to grow and come to terms with her grief. I liked how the girl's friends put up with her unkind behavior for months and still didn't give up on her. Real friends are hard to come by. I didn't find anything about this book that I didn't like. I would recommend it to anyone who has ever suffered a loss of a family member by wrongful means and even if you didn't it is still a great book and covers all the angles that really come up in situations like that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Liptak on March 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and easy to read. A light hearted read and very enjoyable. Girls of all ages will enjoy this.
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Format: Hardcover
Grace Abernathy is stuck in the dark funk of grief. Her dad, a policeman, was shot as he left the station early to come to one of her games. Even though there's no logical reason for her to blame herself for pushing him to come, logic isn't in her vocabulary these days. Fortunately, that's a good thing because when her older sister, Regan, bullies her into agreeing to adopt a stray from the shelter so Regan can train it as a rescue dog, the first one Grace sees starts talking to her.
Grace knows Regan will dump the responsibility of training Rex on her, but the more Rex talks to her, the more she starts accepting the impossible. Not only does he dog help her with answers, he gives her information that helps Grace stop a crime. Meanwhile, her grades are plummeting, she's avoiding her friends and if it weren't for her having to take Rex to training, she's probably curl up in her room and never show her face.
Rex won't let her, and when she realizes that JJ, one of the kids in her training class, was in the car with whoever shot her dad, she's determined to hound him until he tells her who really shot her dad. Once again, her new dog's odd wisdom forces Grace to realize that JJ is someone her father saw as worth saving from the gangs. How she accomplishes solving her father's murder and builds a bridge, not only with JJ, but with her friends and her mom, makes for a great read. Juvenile readers (and animal-loving teens and adults) will really like this book, particularly those with grief or loss issues or older siblings who aren't particularly reliable. While sad in spots, it's a true feel-good book by the end.
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Format: Hardcover
The tragic death of her father leaves Grace traumatized and disinclined to do just about anything. Regan, her sister, on the other hand acted as if nothing had changed as she continued on with her daily routines. Regan, who is self-absorbed, induces Grace to adopt a dog at the pound with her, the idea being she would train it to be a service dog in order for her college application to be more appealing. Grace not caring much about the whole scheme of things, including the pound venture, never realizes her world is about to change when a dog speaks to her and say’s “pick me!” A triumphant story about coping with loss after a tragedy, being brave when surrounded by doubt and fear and believing in a cause that will better someone’s life if not your own.
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