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!


  1. Thanks for making the connection over a great set of books!

  2. I love dog stories! Just added BEANS and LIBERTY to my TBR list. I'd add RAIN REIGN to this list-it was one of my favorite, favorite, favorites last year! And for kids who like dog stories, A HANDFUL OF STARS. Not really about a stray dog, but a great (and really important) story for kids of this age.

    1. Rain Reign is a PERFECT fit for the list! Thanks, Carol!!

  3. Thank you for including WISH in this great lineup

  4. Thanks for including Liberty and I have to tell you: my husband thinks Liberty is not only the best of that series, he thinks it's my best book EVER! (Of course, he is completely unbiased.) Thank you for this blog post and for all you to do connect kids with books!

  5. I've read three of these and lived each of them. Time to request "Full of Beans."

  6. Circling around this list to find a cozy spot and scratch my reading itch. Doggone good to gather them together.


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