Maxi’s Secrets (Or, What You Can Learn From a Dog)
By Lynn Plourde
New York: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2016.
Genre: Realistic Fiction Grades: 5-7 Pages 262
This is a wonderful heartwarming story about a very short boy, his neighbor who is blind and his dog who is deaf. Timminy, the short boy is bullied at his new school, his neighbor Abby is confident and a confidant and Maxi; is the adorable and loveable puppy. Like many of my readers, I hate sad dog books and this book opens with, “Let’s get this part over with—it’s no secret. My dog, Maxi dies.” I am not sure that really prepares me for when it happens in the book (it did not because I sobbed for a couple of minutes) but I knew the lessons like–#51 “Best friends are forever friends. They make you laugh and cry and laugh some more—even the ones who have moved on.”–would definitely make this story touch my heart and it did!
Racing in the Rain
By Garth Stein
Children adaptation of the adult book! Yay! My favorite adult book now available for kids!!
The Art of Racing in the Rain
By Garth Stein
New York: Harper Collins, 2008.
Life actually parallels race car driving in many ways as told by Enzo, the family dog. That’s right from a dog–you get a wonderful new perspective of family life and what it means to be the family pet in this wonderful story.
Racing in the Rain, tells the story of Danny, who always wanted to be a race car driver and how a wife, a daughter and a dog changed the road conditions from dry to wet. In dry condition a driver knows what to expect but in the rain a driver needs to be focused, needs to anticipate others moves and needs to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Danny put his dreams of being a driver on the back burner when he falls in love with his wife and then his daughter. Enzo knows how Danny aches to be racing, because Danny tells Enzo everything—in fact Danny and Enzo often watch racing on the television together.
I loved the insights Enzo has about being a dog—from wishing that he had thumbs to a tongue that he could use to talk. After all the listening the dog has done—he has some very wise and thoughtful things he would like to say to his family.
The family dog tells this story of family fun, love, anger, heartbreak and hope.
I loved, loved this story! I will never look at my dog the same again! 🙂