Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart

Published by Scholastic Press

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Summary:  On page 1, Brodie is waking up in a new place, vaguely aware that he has died.  He soon learns that he is in a sort of purgatory, waiting to move on to the mysterious Forever, but still able to return to Earth as a ghost…with the risk of losing his soul.  As his memories of his previous life slowly return, Brodie realizes that his beloved boy Aiden is in danger, and that it’s up to Brodie to save him.  Accompanied by the lovable and loyal, if not too bright, Tuck, Brodie returns to Earth to help Aiden.  The two dogs are pursued by four hellhounds, dogs who have lost their souls and feed off of the souls of “good dogs” to stay alive.  They’re assisted by Patsy, the ghost of a streetwise stray cat who is down to her last bit of soul.  It’s a struggle to the end, but Brodie succeeds in his mission, and the human-canine bond is celebrated in a moving final chapter.  304 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Animal lovers will take Brodie, Tuck, and even Patsy to heart, and between the hellhounds and Aiden’s evil father, there is plenty of action to keep them reading to the end.

Cons:  Brodie’s “good dog” status was hammered home just a bit too hard.  And Dan Gemeinhart?  He needs a better editor to eliminate some of the rhetorical question and answer format of his narration.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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