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WAGGIT’S TALE by Peter Howe


by Peter Howe & illustrated by Omar Rayyan

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-124261-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

Howe makes an auspicious children’s-book debut in this satisfying novel about an abandoned puppy who finds a family among a pack of stray dogs in Central Park. The pup, dubbed “Waggit” by his new friends, soon finds himself adapting to their ways and discovers his talents as a hunter and tracker. A fearsome group of enemy dogs, however, shares the same domain and leads an equally precarious life. Readers will get caught up in the dogs’ adventures and the sad realities of life as a stray: The pound is an ever-present threat, one that Waggit learns about from first-paw experience. His rescue by a loving woman leads to a touching conclusion. Waggit’s relationship with his compatriots develops well and lovingly, with humor. While the dogs speak English for readers’ convenience, children will nevertheless get a realistic and sobering idea of the dangers strays face, and they will be heartened by the dogs’ intelligence and camaraderie. A pleasant read for middle graders, dog lovers or otherwise. (glossary) (Fiction. 9-12)