Jeremy and his best friend, Justin, seem inseparable until Jeremy's newfound interest in dogs and a mysterious old man threaten their friendship.
Thirteen-year-old Jeremy lives with his mother in the small Cree community of Poplar Point. He usually splits his time among school, home, and hanging out with Justin. When he and Justin cross paths with an old yellow dog and its elderly owner, Jack, Jeremy's life changes. The old man is strange. He chooses to live in an old log cabin and speaks to Jeremy as if they've met before. Jeremy soon bonds with Jack. The elder knows everything about dog sledding and the old ways of trapping and fishing. Once his mother catches wind of his new mentor, however, she bristles at the relationship. Moreover, Justin hates dogs and resents the time Jeremy spends with Yellow Dog. Körner hits the mark exploring the passions of a young boy and his relationships. The intergenerational relationship between Jack and Jeremy explores Cree culture and language with familiarity rather than cold observation. Jeremy's interest in his culture and history could spark conversations with readers’ elders and others about history and traditions. Körner also gently transforms Justin's understanding of Jeremy and dogs. Simmering with resentment and pride, Justin learns why Jeremy loves dogs and how to participate in his interests, beautifully demonstrating the hard work it takes to remain open-minded despite past trauma.
Heartwarming and optimistic. (Fiction. 10-14)