I LOOOVE dog books, whether they be fiction, non-fiction, kid lit or adult. If there is a dog in the book (and especially a rescue dog), I'm sold. I read both these books over the Christmas holiday, one given to me by my lovely husband and the other a checkout from the library. One was great, the other pretty-darn-good. Both are great animal stories for any dog lover.
Dog Lost, written by Ingrid Lee, focuses on my absolute favorite breed of dog (and some's least favorite), a pit bull. I own a pit bull, as many of you have seen through the various pictures I've posted of her over the last couple of years and my husband and I are forever getting comments about us owning a "vicious dog breed." SO NOT TRUE. It's the owner, not the breed. Enough said. Anyways...Ms.Lee brings that issue alive with the help of a young boy, his abusive father, and a sweet puppy by the name of Cash.
When 11 year old Mackenzie is awoken by the throwing of a tiny puppy on his bed by his drunk, gambling addicted father, he is absolutely overjoyed. Having a puppy has been dream and he can finally have the best friend he has always wanted. His days become filled with taking care of Cash and raising her from an innocent puppy to a strong, smart, happy dog, with absolutely no help from his father who often kicks her out of his way or threatens to throw in her the street. One night, Mackenzie's day makes good on that threat and Cash is thrown out of the house, left with no family and no roof over her head. Mackenzie is devastated and Cash's little puppy heart is broken with the loss of her boy.
While Cash is just working on survival, a heated debate against pit bulls is raging in Mackenzie's town. Everyone believes the dogs are vicious and should be locked up and put down. When acts of bravery begin to occur throughout the town, all done by a pit bull, minds slowly begin to change from a negative attitude to a positive outlook for the breed and Mackenzie believes he may just know what Cash has been up to since she's been gone.
Though Dog Lost definitely doesn't have the best writing I've ever seen, it's an incredibly heartwarming story that kids are going to love, written on an issue I am very passionate about. Perfect for fans of Ann M. Martin's A Dog's Life.
The Leanin' Dog, written by K. A. Nuzum, is another that pulls at a reader's heartstrings, both for the books main character, another lost child that is in desperate need of a friend, and for the dog, another in need of home.
Dessa Dean has been trying to cope with her emotions since her mother died over a month ago, frozen in the snow. She hasn't been able to leave her house since the experience, living her life inside her and her Daddy's tiny cabin, playing the role of housewife. When a stray dog comes calling at the door, terrified, skinny, and injured, Dessa immediately befriends the animal and is given a purpose to move on with her life, through baby steps that both she, her dog, and her father take together.
Now, The Leanin' Dog was filled with beautiful writing and pure emotion that could be felt on every single page. I was cheering Dessa on every time she attempted to get off that front porch and go after the dog and I was hoping her father would be as compassionate about the dog as she was. Such a purely loving story.
If you're interested in learning more about either book, or to purchase, click on either book cover to link to Amazon.