cover image Everything for a Dog

Everything for a Dog

Ann Matthews Martin, . . Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (211pp) ISBN 978-0-312-38651-1

Fans of Martin’s A Dog’s Life who are eager to know what happened to Bone, the brother of stray puppy Squirrel, will find the answer in this beautifully crafted companion novel. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Bone and two boys who enter his life. Henry is an 11-year-old whose deepest desire is to have a dog. Charlie is lucky enough to already have a dog, but that doesn’t ease his grief over the recent loss of his older brother, RJ (“He can’t help but think, as he fondles Sunny’s silky ears, that RJ was the one who named Sunny; that Sunny had, in fact, been RJ’s dog”). Meanwhile, Bone, still a stray and not yet aware of the boys’ existence, bounces from one family to another, experiencing a mixture of joyful moments as well as events that lead to betrayal and abandonment. Each point of view is compelling on its own, but the smooth convergence of the characters’ heartwrenching histories shows exceptional engineering and artistry. Animal lovers of all ages will cherish this moving tale of man’s—or in this case, boy’s—best friend. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)