A Dog on His Own

( 1 )

Overview

Can a not-so-old dog learn a new trick—friendship?

Other dogs are K-9s. But K-10 is a cut above other dogs—and he has the name to prove it. K-10 spends his days running away from owners and doing time in dog shelters. He doesn't need ...

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Overview

Can a not-so-old dog learn a new trick—friendship?

Other dogs are K-9s. But K-10 is a cut above other dogs—and he has the name to prove it. K-10 spends his days running away from owners and doing time in dog shelters. He doesn't need friends. But after K-10 escapes from a shelter with some other dogs, he discovers that it's not so bad to be part of a pack.

"Humorous, action-packed. . . . Sure to please dog-loving kids." —School Library Journal

"The characters stands out as real individuals. . . . Delightful." —Kirkus Reviews

"The dogs' experiences facing their fears and learning the true meaning of friendship and family will resonate with kids." —Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
Named by his mother who believed he was a cut above the other canines, K-10 is a cynical and cocky mutt who bounces back and forth between various owners and shelters. He is fed up with humans and does not trust dogs either. He convinces himself that being a loner is the way to go and that he does not need friends, human or canine. His independence is of utmost importance. At a shelter where he has a longer than usual stay, K-10 befriends a few other dogs and together they plot a successful escape. Everything changes after that but not before K-10 has quite a few close calls and trouble along the way. Gradually he learns who he can really count on and what really matters to him. The story is written from the dog's perspective and is told with both humor and poignancy. Mary Jane Auch's descriptions of dogs communicating with each other and humans are hilarious, but also show true dog knowledge. Thus, the canines sniff each others pee around trees to "read" messages from each other and offer advice about how to look cute for a potential owner ("full head tilt, ear perk, big sad eyes") Auch also touchingly shows K-10's growth from a toughened dog who cannot admit that he is heartbroken by the loss of what he thought was his "forever home" to a dog who can open up to the promise and possibility of a new family. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

K-10 is cute, friendly, independent, and, as his Mom told him, "one step above all the other canines." But after too many owners and unwanted trips to the animal shelter, K-10 just wants to live free. Unfortunately, a big hunk of meat on the ground proves too much for a hungry dog to pass up, so once again he finds himself with a rope around his neck, being shuttled back to the pound, and this time getting adopted doesn't turn out to be so easy. Told in first person, the humorous, action-packed novel follows K-10 and some newfound friends through numerous escapes, misadventures, and setbacks, and wraps up with a tidy and satisfying conclusion. With a winning cover and fast pace, it's sure to please dog-loving kids.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
In this tale told from the mutt's point-of-view, spunky serial-adoptee K-10 believes in his ability to make it on his own without humans, whom he charms but always leaves. Caught one too many times, however, K-10 escapes from the pound with some new dog friends when he realizes that this stay won't end in an adoption. Confronted by an outside world that's far more difficult than he's anticipated, K-10 relies on his new friends to survive. Auch tackles themes important to children as she forces K-10 to realize which dogs are his real friends, and which are not. K-10's present-tense narration includes some mild violence and briefly portrays the death of a rabbit but keeps the story age-appropriate and the resolution happy. The characters stand out as real individuals, and K-10's cocky tone brightens the whole. A delightful little romp for boys and girls alike. (Fantasy. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823422432
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 619,200
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Auch has published dozens of titles for young readers, from wacky picture books such as Peeping Beauty to intense teen novels including Ashes of Roses, which tells the story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. She and her husband, Herm, live in Ontario, New York.
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