'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 28 January 2011

Review: Dog Gone

Don't judge a book by its first appearance. Death, disappearance, separation, ghosts, bullying - sounds a bit depressing, right? Not in the hands of Poustie. This is, in fact, one of the most positive books I've read.

Such is the power of placing a dog named Lucky in the middle of all the action.

Ish is staying with his grandmother for the holidays. His grandfather recently passed away and now his dog has gone missing - could things get any worse? Well, yes.

But Ish's grandfather left him a wonderful gift - the ability to write poetry. This gives Ish an outlet, a way to channel his pain, frustration and anger.

Poustie's poetic turns of phrase (a couple of my favourites: "Yesterday dragged on for so long, it felt like the sun had got stuck up in the sky"; "Just enjoy the swish and swirl of words dancing off the page") make this book charming, heartfelt and friendly. For a child, it's like visiting a best friend for a chat.

The dog's gregarious, fun-loving nature makes him almost bound off the page, and so readers miss him almost as much as Ish does when he disappears. The anticipation of finding him, and having his personality return to the story, is a contrast to the tragedies occurring in the plot.

A gorgeous story, and a must-read for both boys and girls.

Title: Dog Gone
Author: Carole Poustie
Publisher: Avant Press, $18.95 RRP
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780980448450
For ages: 10 - 12
Type: Novel

This book is available online