A Dog Called Homeless

A Dog Called Homeless

4.9 13
by Sarah Lean
     
 

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A gentle and beautiful story about friends who hear the things you don't say.

When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking—what's the point if no one is listening? The only other living soul who sees Cally's mom is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears.

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Overview

A gentle and beautiful story about friends who hear the things you don't say.

When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking—what's the point if no one is listening? The only other living soul who sees Cally's mom is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears. But without a voice, how will Cally convince anyone that her mom is still with them and that the huge silver-gray dog is their last link with her?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Since her mother died in an accident a year ago, Cally's father has not been the same. He simply will not talk about her mom. On a visit to the cemetery, Cally thinks she sees her mom, but he does not believe her and tells her not to mention it again. However, Cally continues to see her mom as well a strange dog. Family and friends tell her to be quiet when she tries to talk about her mom or the dog. When the fifth grade class needs someone to participate in day of silence to raise money for children's hospice, she volunteers. No one believes she can be silent but she is determined. Even after that day has passed, Cally remains silent for over a month. During that time, her family must sell their house and move to a small apartment where she meets Sam, who can neither see nor hear. The two of them become good friends. Her life at home and at school deteriorates as she befriends Jed, a homeless man, and the dog. Sam, Jed, and the dog come together in a surprising way to heal Cally's family and help them to finally come to terms with her mother's death. This poignant story shows that talking is not always the best method of communication and that healing can come from the most unexpected experiences. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Cally Fisher hasn't spoken for 31 days. As she explains in the prologue, "Talking doesn't always make things happen, however much you want it to." She knows that talking won't bring her mother back to life or keep her dad from selling their home in exchange for a small apartment so what's the point in saying anything. But when her mother appears one day wearing a bright red raincoat and the only other soul that sees her is a big scraggly dog, the girl knows she must find a way to convince her father that the dog is the only thing connecting them to her mother. But her father's growing depression continues to separate the family and Cally struggles to keep her mother from becoming a distant memory. When she meets Sam, who lives downstairs, the friendship that forms between the blind boy and silent girl manages to reunite a family, and each character benefits from the bond. Truly a lesson in the power of love and loss, this story shows that learning how to listen is more important than what's being said. This is a thought-provoking story that will speak to readers of all ages.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
In this British import, a girl grieving for her dead mother gives up talking when she becomes convinced that what she says doesn't matter. Cally's father never mentions her mom, which seems to deny her existence. Then Cally begins to see her mother--a ghost or wishful imagining?--dressed in a red raincoat and sometimes accompanied by a very large dog that's assuredly not a ghost since he turns up independently at school, in the park and especially with a homeless man, Jed. Cally also meets Mrs. Cooper, a neighbor in their new apartment building who lovingly cares for her blind, nearly deaf 11-year-old son, Sam. Mrs. Cooper, Sam and a psychiatrist all reach out to Cally, each offering wise support, but it's Cally herself, perhaps with the quiet help of her mom, who finds a believable--if a bit miraculous--and highly satisfying resolution. Fifth-grader Cally's first-person voice effectively captures both her suffering and her bewilderment as friends and her father all fail to understand her pain. When she tells Sam she sometimes thinks her mother became a star after she died, he astutely asks, "Why would she go so far away?" giving Cally a comforting new way to think of her mother, much closer to her heart. Ever so gently, this fine debut effort explores the power of human kindness as Cally and her father find effective ways to cope with their loss. (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062122261
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/07/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
155,766
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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