What It Is About: Leo is a dreamer and has a great BIG imagination. He doesn't necessarily fit in with the other kids at school, but that is OK because he has his best friend George. After an incident at school, some of the "cool" kids ask Leo to join their group. He is thrilled to be included, but is faced with some difficult choices. While Leo is dog sitting, the neighbor's dog named Jack Pepper, he ends up in "deep water" and Jack Pepper saves him. Leo's family and neighbors think that he is actually the one who saved the dog and he becomes the local hero. Leo likes the way this new imagine feels, but doesn't like the things he has to do to fit in with the other kids, and at the same time leave his best friend behind. When Jack Pepper ends up in real danger, it is up to Leo to prove to both himself, his family, and the community that he is truly a "hero".
What I Thought Of It: Just as with A Dog Called Homeless, I loved this story. I'm a sucker for the underdog character story and throw in a real dog, and I'm all over it. Leo was such a lovable character and I cheered for him throughout the whole story. Actually all of the characters were such an integral part of the plot, that I enjoyed them all. I always enjoy a story about a young person that is trying to fit in, but actually learns that fitting in isn't always the best choice. Leo is a character that I will remember for a long time.
Who Should Read It: It is especially exciting when I find a novel that is just "perfect" for readers in fourth and/or third grade. Sometimes books for young readers are just too long, too much text, and overwhelming for them. This is not the case with this novel. It is the perfect length for our young readers. I'm thinking of using it for a read aloud this year. I know my fourth grades will love it. Readers in grades three though five would also be able to handle it with ease and satisfaction. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars