cover image Dogtown


Katherine Applegate and Gennifer Choldenko, illus. by Wallace West. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-81160-8

Newbery Medalist Applegate and Newbery Honoree Choldenko team up for this uplifting escape novel narrated by Chance, a forthright three-legged border collie/Aussie mix. Self-described as an unadoptable “pity party in a dog suit,” Chase is a permanent resident of Dogtown—a shelter for dogs both mammalian and robotic—where she offers amusing and insightful commentary about her fellow rescues, including the animosity between the “flesh-and-bloods” seeking forever homes and the “metal dogs” that many humans consider easier to care for. When an uncharacteristically empathic robot dog, Metal Head, arrives, he makes a bold request of Chance and her friend Mouse: break him out of Dogtown. Unwittingly swept up in Metal Head’s flight scheme, Chance and Mouse embark on an adventure that makes Chance wonder about life beyond the shelter. Angular b&w line drawings by West (Mighty Red Riding Hood) highlight the humorously sketched canine cast, while brief chapters that explore species divides promise to captivate anyone who enjoys rooting for a couple of down-on-their-luck dogs getting a second chance. Human characters are portrayed with various skin tones. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)