SQUAW DOG by Patricia Beatty
Kirkus Star


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The story features a dog and his neglected master, a boy suffering from rheumatic fever, but the exaggerated sentimentality that such a relationship might well suggest is totally belied by the completely unaffected tone of the telling. The setting is the Quileute Indian Reservation in Washington State as it was during the last years of the Depression. The fact that the homes are squalid, and the inhabitants are ignorant and at times deceitful, drunk, or violent, lends character to the whole village which is described with warm affection. The dog, an elegant Labrador retriever, who came to be known as Kadedo, goes through a variety of experiences and households to which he reacts like a non-emotive Black Beauty. Human sensitivity is never ascribed to him and would simply detract from his canine attributes which are well done. Similarly, the affection between Kadedo and the boy Jimmy Pine is natural in terms of both their capacities. There is a wide range of characters and an interesting contrast in different families. Particularly appealing are Jimmy's two friends, a rowdy sister and brother who skillfully outwit everyone who tries to capture the dog during the year that Jimmy is in the hospital. By the author of The Nickel-Plated Beauty (1964), this is an excellent dog story that features a steady build-up of action and an underlying gift of humor.

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1965
Publisher: Morrow