- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (March 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0375837779
- ISBN-13: 978-0375837777
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,987,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Friskative Dog Hardcover – March 13, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—Now that Sharron's dad has been missing for a year, the toy dog that he gave her when she was five has taken on great meaning. Her mother and grandmother slowly realize that he has run off, but nothing is made clear to his confused daughter. The stuffed animal has become the center of her love and devotion, so much so that she has crossed the line between reality and imagination, and believes that The Friskative Dog is real. When her fourth-grade class is assigned career reports, she knows that she wants to work with dogs. Her schoolmates are aware of her attachment to the toy and subject her to snide remarks. When tension and loneliness escalate, Sharron takes him to school, precipitating a crisis. Straight's ear for classroom dialogue is similar to Andrew Clements's. Both a school and a family story rich with the setting of southern California, this book has potential for both discussion and reading aloud.—Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sharron and her beloved dad, who drives a truck, are close, but one day he leaves their home in Rio Seco, California (also the setting of Straight's adult novels), and doesn't return. A year later, Sharron and her mother still have their lives on hold--not knowing but not giving up. Friskative Dog, a stuffed toy puppy that has been Sharron's constant companion since she was five, is the one thing Sharron has been able to count on. A few classmates ridicule her for acting as if the dog were alive, but when Friskative Dog disappears, everyone (including readers) comes to understand the role the toy plays. Viewing love and loss through Sharron's eyes, Straight thoughtfully captures the nine-year-old's ability to perceive her parent's emotional struggles while dealing with feelings and questions of her own. What happened to Sharron's father remains unknown, but readers will find hope in the child's ability to finally move forward with life. Nancy Kim
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
At five this demonstration of affection is acceptable, but by the time she turns nine, Sharron is the subject of much teasing and emotional bullying from classmates. After her father disappears, she needs Friskative around more than ever; even though she isn't allowed to take the dog to school, she does.
Sharron shares her mother's concerns that her father is suffering from amnesia and unable to return home. They place their lives on hold, eventually redefining their "family" with help from Sharron's paternal grandmother and a new friend. Sharron laments the fact that humans don't have the same homing instincts as canines. When Friskative disappears, Sharron hopes that her plush pup uses his instincts to come back.
Susan Straight's easy-to-read chapter book, which gently explores several childhood issues, is a quietly soothing story about hope and patience as well as the ability of a family to survive a painful abandonment. It serves to remind us of the value of a pet or a favorite toy to a child suffering an emotional crisis. I found myself compelled to question Sharron's need to cross the line of reality and to remain for so long on the side of fantasy. What was it about her relationship with her dad, who was on the road so much, that bonded her to this stuffed dog? This book is as easy to overanalyze as it is to read.
While simple at first, THE FRISKATIVE DOG reveals multiple levels of awareness that will end up haunting your thoughts.
--- Reviewed by Patsy Side
Sharron's dad gave her the Friskative Dog when she was very little. Sure, he may be a stuffed animal to most people, but to Sharron he is real and just as much a part of the family as an actual dog would be. Especially since Sharron's dad left a year ago. Sometimes it seems like the Friskative Dog is the only connection to her dad that Sharron has left.
One day the Friskative Dog disappears, and Sharron's world, both real and imagined, begina to come crashing down. Who would take her dog? And why? And without her dog, how will she feel connected to her dad? Why would he leave them, anyway? Sharron is starting to ask the questions that everyone has been avoiding for a year now. And the answers could redefine how all of them feel about family and safety.
This is a sweet story about the strength of faith and hope, and the power of family, no matter what shape that family takes. It's also a really good book for reluctant readers -- it's easy to read and understand, without being particularly condescending. My only concern is that the characters are a bit stereotypical; however, the underlying message is a good one.
Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman