Review Blog

Apr 18 2011

Just a dog, Michael Gerard Bauer

cover image

Omnibus, 2010.ISBN 978 1862918870.
When the family is given a pup, a runt from a litter out of a pedigree dalmation, but with an obviously non pedigree father, the family is unsure. Put downstairs to sleep, it whines until it is taken upstairs and given a spot in the porch to sleep. As it grows bigger so does its impact upon the family. Through Corey's eyes we hear stories of the dog, Moe and the part it plays within the family. The funny stories how it got its name and of Amelia dressing it up, of sad stories of it being run over by a car, and then the saddest of all when it comes to the end of its life. Behind each story is always the complete loyalty the dog gives its family, its trust and companionship, its unwavering devotion and in some cases, its protection. For all of us the warmth of owning a dog shines through, and Corey learns some truths about life through this ownership.
In the background the reader can see the disintegration of Corey's family, torn apart through lack of work and mounting debts, suspicion and mistrust. For Corey the dog is always there, and its death does a great deal to heal the family and bring it back together.
Shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2010, and deservedly so.
Fran Knight

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