How does a girl who’s terrified of dogs wind up working at an animal shelter?
The dogs aren’t the only thing that scares Robyn. Back in middle school, she turned in a boy for stealing. She hoped she’d never see him again, but there he is, also working at the shelter. Nick doesn’t seem able to stay out of trouble. Yet both Robyn and Nick are doing community service at the shelter. Robyn, accused of breaking a window during a protest march, still sees herself as superior to Nick, accused of violent crime. When she thinks she sees Nick trying to steal money again, she isn’t sure what she should do. Meanwhile, Robyn learns more about Nick when he’s arrested again. This time she thinks he’s innocent and sets out to prove it. To amp the tension a little bit, add in the fact that a dog Nick has been training may be put down if Nick leaves his rehabilitation program. As the story unfolds, Robyn learns more about Nick’s predicament, turning the story into a mystery. McClintock keeps her writing at a level simple and clear enough to attract both middle-school and reluctant high-school readers. She portrays both Robyn and Nick as flawed people, but both learn and grow, finally making both interesting and attractive characters. Volume two in the Robyn Hunter Mysteries series, You Can Run, publishes simultaneously.
Great for dog lovers and young mystery fans. (Mystery. 12-16)