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RASCAL by Ken Wells


A Dog and His Boy

by Ken Wells & illustrated by Christian Slade

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-86652-4
Publisher: Knopf

In this new novel geared toward younger readers, Wells brings back Meely LaBauve, the hero of his young adult trilogy set in the South Louisiana bayous. Taking center stage this time and telling his own story is Rascal, a mischievous dog who likes to chase the chickens on Nonc Noon’s farm. When Nonc Noon gives Rascal to Meely, Rascal couldn’t be happier. He and Meely traipse all around the swamps until the day Meely is severely injured. Rascal has to fetch Nonc Noon to get Meely some help, and he has to get past an enormous snake to do it. A full cast of spunky animal characters, including several dogs, a feisty Mama cat and two snakes, keeps this one interesting. Because animals and humans alike speak in Cajun dialect and phrasing, the going may be a bit slow at first, but once readers become accustomed to it, they will find themselves fully immersed in this South Louisiana swamp adventure and likely feeling quite the envy—hankering—for another one just like it. (glossary) (Animal fantasy. 8-12)