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A quiet winner for animal lovers and fans of realistic fiction.

A girl’s telepathic connection to a stray dog helps her process change.

Fifth grader Sadie Mitchell-Rosen is feeling frustrated. Her best friend has moved away, she and her brother can’t get along, and her moms are trying to hide her grandfather’s worsening dementia from her. She doesn’t know how to feel about the new IEP for her processing disorder, which sometimes makes focusing difficult. But everything changes when she discovers an injured dog named Dewey in the woods. They are able to communicate telepathically, and Sadie learns from Dewey that she has one week to be claimed by her owners from the kennel at Sadie’s Mom’s vet clinic before being euthanized for aggression. Making it her mission to rescue Dewey, Sadie recruits her Gramps, who has just moved in with her family, and a classmate she used to dislike. While there are plenty of bumps along the way, the happy, hopeful ending is satisfying. Sadie’s first-person narration balances action and introspection, creating a thoughtful exploration of interpersonal relationships and what it means to do right by others and ourselves. Sadie and Dewey’s telepathic connection is never explained or deeply explored, but readers who feel profound bonds with their pets won’t be bothered by this. Sadie’s family is described by skin tone: Mama reads as White, Mom has dark-brown skin, and Sadie’s and her brother’s complexions are somewhere in between.

A quiet winner for animal lovers and fans of realistic fiction. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-20491-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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