“A sad and silent nine-year-old boy finds his voice when he moves next to a family that rescues dogs.”
Another inspirational, touching and well written Patricia MacLachlan novel. This one is rich in scene and some characters, thin in page numbers and side characters.
An outgoing family rescues Great Pyrenees dogs until they can be adopted. A much more subdued man, woman and their nephew rent the house up the hill. They are keeping the boy while his parents work through some unmentioned issue. His issue is that he’s selectively mute, I guess because of the trauma of whatever is going on with his folks.
Predictably enough he starts opening up to the dogs when no one is around and the thoughtful girls in the family of the dog rescuers give him the time and space to bond with one of the dogs.
It’s pleasant and I’m sure will be loved by dog lovers. It would make a good second grade read aloud for a class. Some will see the girls in the dog rescuing family as delightfully precocious. I found them almost annoyingly so and their dialogue unbelievable. Kids don’t talk like that, not even wanna be writers. I mean it’s an artistic choice. There are precocious, well-spoken kids in the world. Sometimes it works in a story and sometimes in doesn’t. Your mileage will vary.
But like I said. It’s another inspirational, touching, well-written Patricia MacLachlan novel. That’s something always worth checking out.
Read for my district’s Reader’s Rally team.