Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

How I Heard About It:   This book was first brought to my attention while my class and I were watching the 2013 Newbery and Caldecott announcement.  When this title was announced as a winner, I wrote it down.  It wasn't until last night, that I picked up a copy at the bookstore.  I read it today in one sitting and absolutely LOVED it. 

What It Is About:  A truly beautiful story about Cally, her single dad, her older brother, her new friend Sam, and a truly amazing dog named "Homeless."  Cally is struggling to cope after the loss of her mother a year earlier.  She is having problems at school, problems at home, and problems with herself learning to cope without her mother.  After participating in a "silence" project at school, Cally decides to continue that silence in all parts of her life.  With many changes happening for Cally, her life takes a new path after meeting a young boy named Sam, a homeless man named Jeb, and a huge lovable dog.  All of these characters learn to depend on each other and how important they are to each other. 

What I Thought Of It:  This book was simply amazing.  I picked it up last night and started to read it this morning.  After 200 pages, I was quite sad to be done with the story of Cally and the people around her.  This was a magical story that touched my heart on so many pages and on so many levels.  Being a dog lover, the story struck a cord with me.  The relationships that Cally formed with Sam, Jed, her dad, and of course the dog were original, touching, and meaningful.  Every page was written with such clarity and purpose.  I found myself rereading many lines and pages.  One of the best books I've in awhile.  I can't wait to share it with my fourth graders tomorrow morning! 

Who Should Read It:  All readers should read this book.  I think children that are in third grade or above could easily handle this book on their own.  The interest level would be for readers between third and sixth grade.  I also know that adult readers (teachers, librarians, and authors) would also enjoy the novel.  A Dog Called Homeless would make for an awesome read aloud or a book club selection.  I'm thinking I'm going to promote this book with an in-depth book talk and encourage all of my readers to spend time with this heart-warming story.  Happy reading! 

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