by W. Bruce Cameron
(4.33 stars – Goodreads rating)
Published July 3rd, 2017 by Starscape Books
Genre: Fiction – Childrens, Middle Grades, Juvenile
Page Count: 208
My daughter, Cassidy, bought this book at her school’s Scholastic Book Fair. She was attracted to it because of the super-cute puppy on the cover. I think
she wants a dog because her past two or three books have been about dogs – including a puppy-training manual. I am stealthily choosing to ignore her not-so-subtle hints right now.
We started reading this book together two chapters a night (one for each of us). At one point Cassidy actually misplaced the book, so it took a little while longer than normal to get through this. Plus, after getting deeper into the book I wonder if maybe she may have “misplaced” it on purpose.
I think we were both surprised that this wasn’t the fuzzy, warm, feel-good story about a girl and her dog that seemed to be advertised on the cover. Twelve-year-old C.J. falls in love with little puppy Molly at first sight. She takes Molly home even though she knows that her self-absorbed, controlling mother would never allow her to have a dog. At first she hides Molly in the basement, but eventually, she discovers that Molly doesn’t deserve to be hidden. Later, Molly will prove herself even further when she learns a life-saving skill.
There were several topics of a serious nature that may be processed better with parental guidance. Some of those topics could also be triggers for any readers: emotional child abuse, cancer, negligent parenting, running away, and abandonment.
Needless to say, this wasn’t the book that either my daughter or I thought we were going to read. By the end, she was lukewarm about it and I was just glad to get through it. We wanted a light read about a cute dog finding a good home. This had instances of all that, but with other dark events as well.
I won’t give it a bad review just because it wasn’t what I expected, but I can’t give it higher than 3 stars because I feel that a child reading alone might feel distressed at certain points.