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The Winner's Walk Hardcover – September 5, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–Case is used to hearing the thunder of applause for his mother's acting skills, his father's horse-jumping championships, and his sister's swimming accomplishments. He is looking for his moment in the spotlight, and is sure that at least one upcoming event will provide the opportunity. However, hilarious mishaps ensue at the talent show and the science fair, and he breaks his arm at the junior horse show. He can't even burp the alphabet like his friend Harry. Things finally start to look up when a stray dog follows him home. No ordinary canine, Noah can answer the telephone and turn out the lights. When Case starts winning agility trials with the pup, he finally hears the applause that he has craved. His winning days are short-lived, however, when he learns that Noah is a service dog to a disabled girl. Case must then face the difficult decision of choosing what is best for the dog and placing someone else's needs before his own. Black-and-white watercolor illustrations add to this satisfying, though somewhat predictable chapter book.–Michele Shaw, formerly at Yorkshire Academy, Houston, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 3-5. Patterson evokes both laughter and tears in this tender chapter book. Nine-year-old Case fears that he's the only one in his family not cut out to be a winner. He tries very hard at the talent show, the science fair, and the horse show, but he messes up each time. Then he rescues a lost dog and persuades his family to take it in, promising to look for the owner. Noah, as Case calls the dog, is amazing. He can put dishes in the dishwasher and pick up the phone when it rings. It turns out he was trained to help his previous owner, a disabled girl, Meg. Meg now has a new dog, so she doesn't need Noah any longer, but what about other disabled kids? Yezerski's black-and-white pictures, one per chapter, show Case's slapstick mess-ups and then his bonding with the dog he loves. The disability story is never sentimental (Meg is as proud as she is needy), and the tearful ending scene is unforgettable. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved