Have you read Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart? What are you waiting for? | Mentoring in the Middle

Have you read Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart? What are you waiting for?

Picture of a dog running for review of Good Dog
Where does this author come up with all of his crazy-wonderful ideas?  From The Honest Truth to Some Kind of Courage to Scar Island (which I reviewed here) to Good Dog.  

This book was not at all what I expected.  Not. At. All.

The story is told in 3rd person.  There's a narrator who tells what's happening: from Brodie running around in heaven, coming back to earth against almost everyone's advice, to his adventures on earth.  And then, there's a twist at the end where the novel shifts into 1st person.  Cleverly done!

The Scoop

Brodie feels his feet running on the grass and knows that he's in heaven, although the place is never mentioned.  His heart is so big that he knows he must return to earth to save his boy.  At first, he can't remember his boy's name, but slowly the memories come back of the deep love between Aiden and Brodie, and the fear they have about his physically abusive, alcoholic father.  

What happens on earth is suspenseful, action-packed, scary, death-defying (although you can't really die if you're already dead.)  Brodie and his new friend, Tuck, come to earth as spirits so they can't be seen.  Except by dogs who've returned to earth and have lost their souls.  So they want a bite of the souls of "fresh" dogs.

Running from these terrifying bullies, through walls, cars, and trucks, Brodie and Tuck, with the help of a mangy cat called Patsy, make difficult decisions that stretch who they are and why they're back on Earth.

The Verdict

Your students will have a hard time putting this book down!  Filled with a positive message about deep friendship between a dog and his boy - that can be applied to friendship anywhere - students will cheer Brodie on as he desperately tries to achieve his goal.

Some tears might even be shed.  

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