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THE WINNER’S WALK by Nancy Ruth Patterson

THE WINNER’S WALK

By Nancy Ruth Patterson (Author) , Thomas F. Yezerski (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-38445-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Everyone in Case Callahan’s family is a winner—except for Case. He drops a ball while juggling in the talent show, his model heart explodes during the science fair and he breaks his arm during a horse-riding competition. Then a dog shows up on the family property, and Case’s mom agrees to let him stay—at least temporarily. Case realizes that the dog, named Noah, is special; when Case sees him pick up a ringing phone, he can’t believe it. The two enter an agility contest and win, but this leads to a call from Noah’s previous owner. Noah was actually trained to help handicapped children, and it’s up to Case to decide whether or not to keep him. Although the primary characters are well-realized here, some of the secondary characters are a bit thin, and a sudden friendship with a more popular boy from school is somewhat surprising. However, Case is a sympathetic, appealing hero, and readers will root for him as he makes an important decision that shows what being a winner is really about. (Fiction. 7-10)