All dogs may not go to heaven, but MacKenzie and her friends—loyal and kindhearted pups—earn their places in Haven by standing up for justice, even when it gets them in mortal trouble.
Life on the street has its advantages. Mackenzie, a border collie, makes friends, keeps her own hours and, most importantly, is able to scavenge sustenance for her friend Buddy, a standard poodle whose owners have no qualms about leaving him chained in the yard for days with little food and water. Buddy’s favorite grub is french fries, but he can’t be picky—he’s too hungry. Mackenzie remains focused on helping Buddy, but she’s also interested in vengeance. Her old friend Howie was hit and killed by a Hummer and every time MacKenzie hears the telltale rev of that engine, she gives chase. Sadly, the Hummer and its driver prove to be the stronger force and are once again successful in their quest for destruction. Through a series of happy and sad adventures, MacKenzie and Buddy find themselves on the Other Side, where they must stay true to their natures while teaching valuable lessons. Russell writes this sweet story with careful attention to the whimsical detail that will delight young readers. The book’s plot will hold their attention, and the author packs the narrative with creative language that will appeal to adults and young readers alike. While books about pets, especially those who populate the afterlife, tend toward the overly saccharine, this falls well within the sphere of digestible cuteness. Each canine character is distinct, and Russell doesn’t settle for hackneyed descriptions or stiff action scenes. Her writing is bright and intricate, fun and profound.
A welcome addition to the canine canon for young readers.