Monday, January 28, 2013

Marvleous Middle Grade Monday: A Dog Called Homeless

A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean is a beauty of a story. Now, admittedly, I'm a sucker for a dog story (probably because my own dog steals my heart with a blink of his eyes), but this dog story is unlike any other I've read. I'm not usually, however, a fan of middle grade stories where a parent has died. There seems to be too many with that bent. But, again, this story is unlike any other in that realm also.

The premise: Cally's mom died one year ago, but Cally's dad still won't talk about her. And one day Cally sees her mom. Not a scary, strange, ghostly figure -- just . . . her mom, dressed in raincoat and rain hat. Each time Cally sees her, a big dog is with her too, but no one believes Cally, so Cally quits talking.

What keeps readers reading: The friendship Cally develops with a (mostly) blind and deaf boy named Sam. Sam 'sees' and 'hears' differently than other people, and Cally trusts that he sees and hears her mom. Sam also knows there's something important about the wolfhound and homeless man that keep popping up, too. Cally and Sam need to make it all make sense.

What I loved: The realness of each characters' struggles. Cally, her brother, and her dad. Sam and his mom. Jeb, the homeless man. Each has real hurts, real problems, and needs real rescue. But I super-love that a dog brings everyone together and rescues each in the way they need it.

For more middle grade fun, check the links on
Happy middle grade reading!  
 

28 comments:

  1. There have been so many dog books out recently, and more students wanting to read about dogs. I'm blaming the poor economy. Reading about dogs is almost as good as having one to cuddle.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like an endearing story. I'm especially interested in how the author developed the elements of the 'friend' being blind and deaf. Interesting, especially in a MG book. Thanks so much for sharing this one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love dogs, and doggie stories. This one sounds like one my grandson would love.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds interesting. And you have a dog theme going today. Cool.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds like a wonderful book, Barbara. Dog books, and animal stories in general, were among my favorites as a kid, so I think this could be one I will really enjoy. As always, thanks for a fantastic review and recommendation!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This sounds like a sweet and poignant story~ thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the review, Barbara. I hadn't heard of this one. It sounds lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This sounds like it might make me very teary!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a very sweet story. Sad, but sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks so much for this review, Barbara. Although I don't read nearly enough MG, I am always quite pleased when I do. This one sounds too good to pass up. (And I LOVE that cover!) I'm adding it to my TBR list now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I enjoyed this book too, but was a bit surprised that it just won the Schneider Family Award (instead of WONDER).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey, good timing! As Joanne says above, it just won the Schneider Family Award at ALA Mid-winter. (And yes, there have been an awful lot of dog books recently. Time for the rabbits and/or guinea pigs to reassert themselves.)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rut roh, this one sounds like it might make me CRY! :D It sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Barbara! :o) <3

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm with LTM on this one. I would be in tears if I read it. Sounds like a great story. :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dogs are awesome. We love our basset hound! She so helped us as a bargaining tool to get my daughter to behave (then 3yo).

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have to say I've been avoiding this book because it's a dog story with a dead parent in it. Too many opportunities for tears! But your review is so timely, given the award this book received this morning. And I might get around to reading it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh man I'm always a sucker for dog stories. I'm so enamored with mine as well.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This sounds tender and endearing. Thanks Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I remember reading your post on my phone, then checking twitter and then there was an explosion of awards!!! :)
    In addition to being intrigued by the premise I am completely in love with the cover.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Does sound endearing. Not a ghost story, even though she sees her mother. It's interesting, at ALA there was a publisher that specifically published books for young kids about homelessness. This isn't one of theirs, but I'm wondering if the economy is bringing this issue closer to home for a lot of kids. Or they see it more than they used to.

    ReplyDelete
  21. this sounds like one that I might want to check out and read. thanks for the review

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love stories that include a character with a disability or some other feature that allows them to see or perceive the world a bit differently. Definitely adding this book to my list!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This sounds like a good read. And I can always count on your to share dog stories that are full of heart! :) On my to-read list!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I know I'd love to read this story to my kids. It sounds wonderful and I'm putting it on my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This sounds like a really good book. I will be adding it to my TBR pile. I'm a sucker for dog stories too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This sounds like such a sweet story! This easily seems like something I would have loved as a kid. I never failed to read anything I saw with a dog on the cover, haha!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am a sucker for a dog story, too. This book is one I can't wait to read. Your review was excellent and it made me want to get to know Cally! Thanks. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  28. This sounds like a great story. I love how you gave just enough to intrigue me, without giving anything away. Thanks! :o)

    ReplyDelete

Comments. Yay! They're almost as good as chocolate. Almost.