Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Stray Dogs Who Save Lives
First there was Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. This scruffy dog who smiles shows up in India Opal's life and helps her to make friends and learn to navigate through a life without a mother.
Then last summer, there was Wish by Barbara O'Connor. Wishbone the stray and Howard the surprising neighbor help Charlie deal with her challenging family while she works on making her wish come true.
Last month, when I read Full of Beans by Jennifer Holm, I realized there was a text set coming together -- here's another book with a stray dog in it! Beans saves Termite's life.
The very next book I read after Full of Beans was Liberty, the third (and best, in my opinion) book in Kirby Larson's Dogs of War series. Here we have yet another stray dog who gives the main character purpose and direction. Set in the 1940's in New Orleans, Fish is a white boy with polio who lives with his older sister while his father is away fighting in Europe. His friendship with his neighbor Olympia crosses racial lines and they are unified by their plans to save Liberty. There's even a subplot with a German prisoner of war.
Besides having stray dogs in common, each of these books has a strong sense of place and time, and I just realized as I'm typing this that they are all set in the South!