E for Margarita Engle’s novel-in-verse Mountain Dog (book review)

book cover of Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle published by Henry Holt Books for Young ReadersDogs who fight.
Dogs who save.
People worth saving?

As frightened Tony, calm great-uncle Tio, and eager search-dog-in-training Gabe learn how to live together in the mountains, the lyrical musings of boy and dog bring us the highs and lows of life without Mom.

Read Tony’s impressions of meeting Gabe for the first time here, then visit your local library or independent bookstore to get Mountain Dog  so you can read Gabe’s all-dog responses to having a new guy to love (and to teach to scratch him in just the right place) and to roam with in the Sierra Nevada forest.

Can you hear poetry from the animals in your life?

Book info: Mountain Dog / Margarita Engle; illustrations by Olga & Aleksey Ivanov. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 2013. [author site]  [artists’ site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Tony isn’t sure about living with his great-uncle in a mountain cabin while his mom is in jail – until the eleven year old meets new search-and-rescue dog Gabe.

As he gets used to whispering pines instead of gunshots and arguments, Tony helps Tio train Gabe to search on command and makes friends at the old country school.

Tony’s mom made dogs fight for money; her uncle Tio helps dogs rescue the lost as a volunteer. Tio escaped from Cuba and poverty; can Tony escape the barrio forever?

Maybe tail-wagging Gabe can rescue Tony from his sadness…

Alternating chapters bring reflections from Tony and from Gabe as this novel-in-verse explores choice, forgiveness, and hope. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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