THE LEANIN’ DOG by K.A. Nuzum

THE LEANIN’ DOG

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

A motherless girl, a stray dog and a heart-tugging plot—sound familiar? Not so fast—Nuzum’s talent shines through to create an original take on a potentially predictable story line. Eleven-year-old Dessa Dean’s mother has died in horrible circumstances: She froze to death in a snowstorm with her daughter by her side. Tormented by nightmares and suffering severe agoraphobia, Dessa lives with her taciturn father in a rustic mountain cabin. Afraid she’s going “daft,” Dessa tries desperately to resume her everyday life but can’t force herself off the cabin’s front porch. The arrival of the dog changes everything—but not immediately and not without considerable hardship. Nuzum’s plot flows smoothly through Dessa’s compelling and direct colloquial narrative. Characters are complex, and details of animal behavior ring true. Although the physical setting is clearly drawn, the geographic location and time are unspecified, leaving readers to wonder just a little at Dessa’s primitive existence. But they’ll root for her nonetheless and be pleased when she finds the strength to overcome her fears. Gritty and engaging. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-113934-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Joanna Cotler/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008




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