cover image Gabe: A Story of Me, My Dog, and the 1970s

Gabe: A Story of Me, My Dog, and the 1970s

Shelley Gill, illus. by Marc Scheff. Charlesbridge, $12.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-57091-354-9

Over five brisk chapters, Gill (Alaska’s Dog Heroes) shares stories from her itinerant youth with an adoptive husky named Gabe as her steadfast companion. As readers follow Gill from city apartments to a Colorado teepee and the Alaskan wilderness, “big and wild and full of possibilities,” newcomer Scheff evokes the 1970s setting in dynamic full-bleed images that blend a whiff of psychedelia with the sweeping lines of the Art Nouveau movement and a comic-book sense of dramatic action. Through it all, Gill’s relationship with Gabe is at the forefront; this is as much a tribute to him as it is autobiography. It’s an undeniably unusual project—a middle-grade memoir in the form of an illustrated chapter book—yet Gil never talks down to her audience, whether mentioning the rampant drugs on the street in 1970s New Orleans or a stint working illegally as a bartender. For readers beginning to realize that a conventional path may not be for them, Gill demonstrates the rewards of a life governed by a sense of adventure, a strong moral compass, and a dog at your side. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)