Review Blog

Aug 31 2017

Grover, Stretch and the broken leg by Claire Garth

cover image

Ill. by Johannes Leak. Grover McBane Rescue Dog series. Bk 1. Piccolo Nero, 2017. ISBN 9781863959452
Number 4 in the series, this story continues the adventures of Grover McBane a Border Collie who was rescued by the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. Grover is a real character and was adopted by the author, Claire Garth, who works at the animal shelter. This is explained in the back of the book and is an important part of the stories because the books highlight the work of shelters and the responsibilities of caring pet owners.
Although the animals come to the shelter under sad and cruel circumstances the endings are positive and the animals all find good homes.
In this story, Grover meets Stretch, a young greyhound puppy with a broken leg who has been dumped at the shelter. He is fostered by Grover's owner Annie and Grover is expected to teach Stretch how to behave and to keep him safe. This proves challenging as the young Stretch is into all sorts of adventures and can't resist the chance to follow anything interesting. His long lanky leg is in a cast and this proves to be an issue as he often gets trapped in tight situations. The overriding object of course, is to find Stretch a 'forever' home.
The stories are told from the perspectives of the animals and we. the reader, can understand what they are saying and feeling. There are some black and white illustrations and at the back of the book are information pages on all of the cats and dogs featured. All money from sales will help the rescue centre.
An interesting interview with Claire and Grover is available on Youtube.
This book is suitable for years 6 to 9 and I think will appeal strongly to the students that enjoy animal stories.
Jane Moore

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