DOG YEARS by Sally Warner

DOG YEARS

Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sixth grader finds the road to popularity a rocky one in this undisguised problem novel. In Warner's first book, Case tries to keep his head down in his new school--above all, he doesn't want anyone to find out that his father is in jail for robbery--but when the satiric comic panel he draws for an English project proves popular, he begins to enjoy the attention. A series of missteps puts him deep in the doghouse, though; at home he ``borrows'' some of his little sister's stuffed animals for an art project, while at school, after snubbing his friend and unacknowledged coworker Ned, he falls in with the schemes of classmate Tyler to sell the comic, and gets suspended for a week. The maturity Case subsequently exhibits in calmly accepting blame comes on rather suddenly, and his problems at school are neatly and predictably resolved. Warner surrounds Case with patient, caring, advice-dispensing adults, and supplies five crudely drawn comics that mix cheap shots at fathers and school lunch servers with sophisticated ideas--feeling trapped at school, or the anxiety of getting lost in the halls. The author models responsible and irresponsible behavior, in adults and children both, but overloads the story with lessons and stressful situations. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-87147-0
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995




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