Fourth Grade Journey

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Dog's Life by Ann Martin

How I Heard About It:  Ann M. Martin is one of my favorite middle-grade authors.  Her novel Rain, Reign is just an incredible story that I have shared with many students.  I know A Dog's Life is one of her older stories, but I grabbed the audio book of it at the public library before heading off to the Reading Summit in Kentucky.  It was a quick "listen" and I'm glad I finally got to it.  

What It Is About:  Squirrel and Bone are two puppies that love living with their protective mother.  She teaches them everything they need to know.  That is a good thing because one morning Squirrel and Bone awake in the barn to find that their mother is gone and they have been left on their own.  Squirrel and Bone venture out into the world and find that it isn't as safe, cozy, and peaceful as the barn they had been raised in.  These two strays have to rely on each other for their survival.  When they become separated, Squirrel is left on her own.  She comes across various locations, many humans, and lots of "steps" and "missteps".  Squirrel just wants to find a home that she can call her own.  She uses her keen senses and everything her mother and brother Bone taught her to survive and find that special place.  

What I Thought Of It:  This was such an enjoyable and sweet story.  I love that it was told from the point of view of the dog.  It reminded me of the adult novel The Art of Racing in the Rain.  The narration was excellent and the plot held me attention the entire read/listen.  The many adventures and situations that Squirrel found herself in were interesting and heart-warming.  I liked to see the world from her viewpoint.  This view reminded me of my own dog.  After listening to this Martin novel, it just firmed up even more what a great author she is.  

Who Should Read It:  This middle-grade novel would be perfect for readers in grades four, five, and six.  I also think it would be a phenomenal read aloud.  Young readers who love animals, especially dogs, would find this to be a wonderful story to read.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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