Just a Dog by Michael Gerard Bauer

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Omnibus, 2010. ISBN 9781862918870.
(Age: 9 - Adult) Highly recommended. Mr Mosely, nicknamed Moe, is not just any dog, he is the beloved dog of the Ingram family. He is not a pedigreed dog, but he is the one that protects and loves his family. In this story, Corey, the eldest child, tells of Moe's escapades and adventures while giving an insight into the joys and hardships of the Ingrams.
In 29 short chapters, Corey relates tales about Mr Moe, some very funny and some very sad. He is a heart warming narrator, telling the story about Mr Moe as he sees it, often missing things that are happening around him. The more mature reader will pick up on these family nuances; his father's anguish about being unemployed and the shortage of money for the family and the fights between his parents. I felt I knew the Ingram family very well by the time I finished the book and was immersed in their story. As a dog owner, I identified with the joy and frustration of owning a dog, but this book is one for everyone, not just dog lovers.
I always find outstanding books to be very hard to write about. How can a review convey the way that a book grabs your heart and makes you cry and think about the world and the way it operates? Just a dog should be on every library shelf. It is a book to read aloud to children, to recommend to individuals and to have as a class set. But be sure that you have a box of tissues handy!
Pat Pledger