SHAPER by Jessie Haas

SHAPER

Age Range: 11 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Chad Holloway’s beloved dog, Shep, was shot and killed by Chad’s grandfather. Although it was a mercy killing, Chad cannot forgive his grandfather and has not spoken a word to him since the day of the accident when he arrived home to find that Shep had been run over, shot, and buried, all without his knowledge. The new puppy, Queen, meant to replace Shep, is treated with disdain, if not contempt, by Chad. Into this predicament enters a new neighbor, David, and his lovely daughter who, at 15, is both a year older and a bit taller than Chad, but fascinating to him nonetheless. David is an animal trainer who uses a unique method of positive reinforcement that he calls “shaping.” Enlisting Chad’s help with research on a book he’s writing, David succeeds in shaping Chad, too. Not only does Chad begin to train Queen, but he begins to like her as well. Opening himself up to Queen finally allows Chad to reconnect with his stoic grandfather and with the rest of his eccentric family. Haas (Appaloosa Zebra, 2002, etc.) manages to tie up a lot of strands in the plot, bringing both the complicated family relationships and the romantic element to a satisfying conclusion. She draws a convincing portrait of Chad, a nice kid whose adolescent self-absorption, compounded by his personal loss, temporarily makes him intolerable. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-000170-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2002




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