Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Dog and His Boy

One Dog and His Boy
by Eva Ibbotson
From the publisher:
"Eva Ibbotson's final masterpiece, a tale of a boy and dog who were meant to be together.

All Hal had ever wanted was a dog. "Never!" cries his mother. "Think of the mess, the scratch-marks, the puddles on the floor." But on the morning of Hal's 10th birthday, the unbelievable happens. He's allowed to choose a dog at Easy Pets, a rent-a-pet agency (a fact his parents keep from him). The moment he sees the odd-looking terrier, he knows he's found a friend for life. But no one tells Hal that Fleck must be returned. When Hal wakes up on Monday morning, Fleck is gone. If dog and boy are to stay together they'll have to run away. . . . From the renowned Eva Ibbotson comes a tale laced with humor and brimming over with heart, stunning in its beauty of the love of all things dog."

I am a huge Eva Ibbotson fan, and while this book did not disappoint, it wasn't my favorite. This is the last book she wrote before she passed away at the age of 85, so I am very happy she finished it. It is sweet and charming, and like all Eva Ibbotson books, the good characters are very, very good, and the bad characters are so terrible they are almost like cartoon caricatures. My dog lovers at school will love this one, as it is practically an ode to dogs. The dogs in the book are really the stars. They are loyal, funny, loving and heart wrenching. I adored every one of them. 

I mentioned that this one isn't my favorite by this author, but I did enjoy it. I haven't read all of her books for children (she also writes books for adults that I love - although they are now marketing them for Young Adult instead of adult, and I - and the author - don't agree with that). My favorite of her children's books is definitely Journey to the River Sea , followed closely by Star of Kazan and The Secret of Platform 13 - and yes, that was written before Harry Potter came into existence. I love her writing and her heart and her proclivity for always having good overcome evil.  Happy endings abound. 

Areas of concern:
*Terrible parents are depicted. Obviously a parent who would rent a dog for their son's birthday and not tell him that the dog had to be returned are not good parents. They are, in fact, so ridiculous that it doesn't seem real, and at the end they try very hard to change.
*Runaway children on their own with a bunch of dogs.
*Technically the dogs have been stolen by the children.

Suggested Ages:
Kirkus Reviews - Ages 9-14
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 8-12

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