TITLE: JUST A DOG
AUTHOR: MICHAEL GERARD BAUER
PUBLISHER: SCOLASTIC PRESS
PUBLICATION DATE: DECEMBER 2012
Childrens Fiction - age range 8 and up - 144 pages
BOOK DESCRIPTION: (from Amazon)
Sometimes a dog isn't just a dog--sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.
Mr. Mosely is a special dog. Not just because he's so big (he's part Great Dane.) Not just because he's all white (with one black spot under his eye and a heart shaped splotch on his chest.) Not just because he's clumsy, or because of tricks (he only knows one, and it's not very good.) He's special because he seems to know exactly what everyone in Corey's family needs, even when they don't know themselves. This is the story of Mr. Mosely, from his puppyhood to the last time he curls up on the back porch. It's the story of how sometimes a dog isn't "just a dog". Sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.
My 9 year old son is all about dog stories right now so "Just A Dog" was the latest book I to read to him. As we began to read the book, it was clear that the author was a child. The writting style consisted of short sentences without a lot of detail. But, kids are also known for being very honest and not having the filters that so many of us adults do, and this was true here. The stories about this boy and his dog ranged from funny to sad. What surprised me was the underlying story of the authors mother and father and their financial and marital issues. As an adult, I found this uncomfortable but it didnt seem to phase my son. The one thing I must warn about it that this book does not have a happy ending. If the death of a pet is something that could upset your child then avoid this book. I wish I had known this before I began reading. By the time I came to that part of the story though, my son insisted that I continue so I did. The loss of the dog was upsetting to my son but the thing that really bothered him was the discourse in the marriage. My son has talked to me a few times about how the mom and dad fought nod how sad this made the author. Overall I enjoyed the book and so did my son, but I would not recommend it to a sensitive child or a child under the age of 12.