THE BOY WHO SPOKE DOG by Clay Morgan

THE BOY WHO SPOKE DOG

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Set early in the last century, this echoes Robinson Crusoe and recounts the adventures of Jack, an orphan of indeterminate young age, who washes ashore on an uninhabited island off New Zealand. The hands on the ship that he served as cabin boy set him adrift in a fierce storm in hopes that Jack would be spared the fate of going down with all aboard. The island turns out to be inhabited after all—by two factions of dogs. There are the friendly sheep herders, one of whom, Moxie, becomes a special friend to Jack, and the fangos, feral dogs who represent the constant threat of violence and evil. This is a tale with mythic overtones: Ultimately Jack becomes imbued with the power to communicate in telepathic dog language with his friends, the sheepdogs, and comes to their rescue in a final showdown with the vicious ones who long ago lost their ability to live as noble dogs and to live among humans. Morgan tells the tale in chapters that alternate between the inner voice of Jack and the “voices” of the herders. The dogs fare particularly well. They are not anthropomorphized, but they are relatable as noble and generous. Middle-grade boys and girls will find much to appreciate here, right up to the poignant ending. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47159-6
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003




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