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DOG by Daniel Pennac

DOG

By Daniel Pennac (Author) , Sarah Adams (Translator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-2421-7
Publisher: Candlewick

What seems at first like a simple, elegant dog’s-eye-view uncurls into a dark-edged musing on hurt feelings, death, despair, and the problematic relationship between humans and dogs. As a newborn puppy, Dog survives a drowning and ends up in a dump, where he learns foraging, smell-tracking, and loyalty. After beloved Black Nose (a mother, though not necessarily his) is killed, he sets out for town, where he’s imprisoned in the dog-catcher’s death row before being adopted by a tiny girl named Plum, who reminds him of the sun. Plum’s parents are harsh and cold, however, and even Plum may be less than she promised. Dog escapes, wanders, makes friends with an eclectic group of dogs and cats, and wonders how life should be lived. His reunion with Plum includes threat, heartbreak, and revenge before the much-needed happy ending. Occasionally surreal and slightly existential, this well-written piece has an unusual flavor. (Fiction. 8-12)