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A Dog for Life

Review

A Dog for Life

A DOG FOR LIFE has the familiar theme of a boy and his canine companion, but this story is executed a bit differently from other classic dog tales. The dog is not merely a loyal companion, but rather an equal partner in an exciting adventure packed with interesting characters and plot twists.

The story begins when John Hawkins finds out that his parents want to send away his beloved dog, Mouse. John's older brother Tom becomes ill, and the doctor advises that Mouse carries too many germs.

John knows that his brother needs Mouse in order to get well again. The boys got Mouse when he was just a puppy and they were little themselves. Mouse always has been much more than just a pet. Soon after Mouse arrived, they discovered that they could understand everything she said --- and she could understand them too. Tom and John devise a plan so that Mouse won't end up in the dog pound. John decides to travel to the other side of the country where their uncle lives and find a temporary house for Mouse.

Their adventure begins when John and Mouse buy a train ticket and travel part of the way across country by rail. Since their funds are limited, they must complete their destination on foot. They meet all sorts of colorful characters along the way, some of whom are trustworthy and others who are unsavory. John must learn to trust his instincts and his dog's instincts about people.

A DOG FOR LIFE is a story that all canine lovers will appreciate. It is told through the eyes of young John Hawkins and written in the straightforward vernacular of a nine-year-old. The character of Mouse is shown through her witty dialogue with John and Tom and her bits of wisdom about life. John is not afraid to face his fears in order to save his little brother. With his beloved pooch by his side, his journey seems much easier. I recommend this book to all dog lovers, both young and old.

Reviewed by Renee Kirchner on October 10, 2006

A Dog for Life
by L. S. Matthews

  • Publication Date: October 10, 2006
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385733666
  • ISBN-13: 9780385733663