cover image Puppy Sister-P561475/3

Puppy Sister-P561475/3

S. E. Hinton. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (122pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32060-3

With this whimsical animal story, Hinton serves up an entry as memorable in its genre as her classic The Outsiders is in YA literature. From the time they bring her home, the Davidsons treat narrator Aleasha, a lovable Australian shepherd, just as if she were young Nick's ``puppy sister.'' When Aleasha finally realizes that she is destined to grow into a dog, not a person, she is horrified. Concentrating all her willpower, she begins to develop fingers and to speak. Her owners, who have always wanted a little girl in the family, are as pleased as they are shocked. Their attempts to hide Aleasha's transformation and to see her through her awkward ``in-between'' stage lead to much hilarity, while the reactions of a nosy neighbor and of the Davidsons' aloof cat, Miss Kitty, magnify the merriment. Offering a unique, consistently witty account of growing pains and family life, this irresistible fantasy can take its place alongside Stuart Little and Babe the Gallant Pig. Ages 7-11. (Sept.)