Illegal dog fighting for money is the basis for a shrill polemic. The Rose family, caretakers on a California farm, adopt a...

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THE STAFFORDSHIRE TERROR

Illegal dog fighting for money is the basis for a shrill polemic. The Rose family, caretakers on a California farm, adopt a tiny puppy found in the nearby hills. Hand-fed, the pup grows into a ""house dog"" (as opposed to an outside dog); and when 13-year-old Cissie Rose does a paper on him for English class, she discovers that he is a purebred Staffordshire terrier. Enter evil Uncle Cletus, dad's ne'er-dowell brother, who at once recognizes the sport value in the dog and steals him after a family argument. For the rest of the drawn-out plot we roam the haunts of the dog-fighting underworld, encountering a parade of stereotypes, while Cissie desperately searches for the terrier with the help of her 17-year-old cousin Lira, Lita's older boyfriend, and an English teacher. And thanks to coincidence after coincidence, she does find him--scarred but not yet vicious. Uncle Clete is exposed; so inadvertently is Dad who, it turns out in the last pages, once went to jail on a bum rap for theft--now he's exonerated in his family's eyes and in his employer's. An author's note tells us that dog fighting is ""a growing business"" in the U.S. and that ""nearly 5000 men"" are involved nationwide; her outrage, however, leaves no room for reader involvement.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1980