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THE DOG DAYS OF CHARLOTTE HAYES by Marlane Kennedy

THE DOG DAYS OF CHARLOTTE HAYES

By Marlane Kennedy

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-145241-3
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Following the excellent Me and the Pumpkin Queen (2007), Kennedy returns with another original novel for young readers. Charlotte, 12 years old, doesn’t think of herself as a dog lover but steps in to care for a St. Bernard that her father bought cheap and now neglects, since the pet has outgrown its cute puppyhood. Beauregard is chained in a shadeless spot, his shelter a doghouse he can no longer fit into; in the summer heat, no one even fills his water dish. Determined to find a better life for the sweet animal, Charlotte hatches half-baked schemes to find him a new home. As each fails, her planning gets more sophisticated. A maturing Charlotte contrasts sharply with her unconcerned though benignly depicted parents. Her first-person, present-tense voice captures perfectly the emerging moral awareness of young teens as it comes up against the impotence of late childhood. Another fine effort, perhaps this entertaining read will serve to catch the attention of children everywhere living with too-easily neglected pets that have outgrown cute. (Fiction. 8-12)