Oct 9, 2009

A Dog's Life

by Ann Martin

This book was just okay for me. I was beginning to skim at the end. It's a novel for middle grade readers about the life of a stray dog. It begins with the dog's birth, following through her life as she learns how to scavenge for a living and wanders through countryside and towns. At first accompanied by her sibling, then another stray dog, often alone. Some people she meets are friendly, others ignorant or unkind. Some take her in for a while, but she is often abandoned once more. In the end she finds a loving home and has peace. It's a nice story that tells what stray dogs experience, but for me lacking in descriptions or feeling. I've read several other books describing the life of a stray dog that were far more interesting and emotional: Scruffy by Jack Stoneley, Nop's Trials by Donald McCraig, Fluke James Herbert, to name a few. Or even Dogsbody, by Diana Wynne Jones (not about a stray, but a very imaginative story from a dog's viewpoint). A Dog's Life just doesn't quite compare. However, I'm sure kids would like it just fine. Maybe I should really quit reading J Fiction, as I feel like it often just disappoints me nowadays. I'm in for more depth and complexity.

I picked up this book at a library sale. Incidentally, it's by the same author who wrote the Babysitters Club books.

Rating: 2/5 ........ 182 pages, 2005

More opinions at:
You've GOTTA Read This!
What is Mrs. Searles Reading?
Shamantika's Reflection: Being Human
anyone else?


Sandy Nawrot said...

I read this with my son last year when he was in 3rd grade...it was required reading for them. We enjoyed it, but in the scheme of dog books, there are better out there from an adult perspective. The kids loved it however! The author has a cute website where you can play around with a scene from the old lady's house.

Jenny said...

Oh, the Babysitters Club. I've been thinking I need to reread those books - I loved them SO MUCH when I was nine and ten, but looking back, I think they were kind of silly.

Jeane said...

Sandy- If the kids love it then this book fits its niche perfectly! It just wasn't the greatest for me to read. I'll have to go look at that site. Sounds cute!

Jenny- My sisters and I read the series when we were that age, too. I think if I picked one up again I'd have the same impression: pretty silly.

Bybee said...

I thought I recognized Ann Martin's name! Babysitter's club. Hmmm.

property said...

It seems like a funny novel,and I think I will have a look at it if I have time.

Jeane said...

Bybee- Way back when I read the Babysitter's Club book with my sisters, I never paid attention to the author's name. I would never have known except the jacket blurb told me.