City of Dogs

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Overview


Sam has always wanted a dog, but Jenny is a dog like no other. She has come from another world?a parallel world of mythology, where the whims of the gods decide the course of Destiny. Jenny fled in terror after her attempt to save the life of her first beloved boy interrupted the gods? plans for a battle for control of the world. But now her escape threatens Sam?s world as well. So Jenny has to convince her motley pack of dog friends?tiny Pico, giant Gentleman Jim, slow-moving Boris, excitable Checkers, and ...
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Overview


Sam has always wanted a dog, but Jenny is a dog like no other. She has come from another world?a parallel world of mythology, where the whims of the gods decide the course of Destiny. Jenny fled in terror after her attempt to save the life of her first beloved boy interrupted the gods? plans for a battle for control of the world. But now her escape threatens Sam?s world as well. So Jenny has to convince her motley pack of dog friends?tiny Pico, giant Gentleman Jim, slow-moving Boris, excitable Checkers, and nervous Flo?that it?s their destiny to restore the worlds to order before it?s too late.

Norse mythology, a huge respect for the hearts and minds of dogs, and many dashes of humor combine to tell the tale of a grand, epic quest to save the world for humans, gods, and dogs.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Walter Hogan
When Auntie Dot shows up at Sam's birthday party with a scruffy terrier that she has nearly run over, the lonely boy eagerly adopts the little dog. Sam, who had been hoping for a birthday present more exciting than the lumpy sweaters knitted by his three strange aunts, finds Jenny a most unusual companion. With her charismatic personality, Jenny soon befriends the neighborhood dogs and recruits five of them to aid her in an epic quest. Gentleman Jim, Pico, Checkers, Boris, and Flo initially find Jenny's account of her previous life among the Norse gods unbelievable. Before long, however, she inspires them to journey through the Great Void to combat the terrible wolves, Skoll, Hati, and Fenrir, with the help of the Guardian of the Darkest Way. Although unspecified, Sam's locale appears to be the large industrial city of Manchester, England, the author's birthplace and also the site of her previous young adult novel, The Whispering Road (Putnam's, 2005/VOYA October 2005). Like that novel, this one offers an elaborate quest tale filled with eccentric human and canine characters. The urban blue-collar setting and lovingly described details of doggy behavior form a homely and often humorous backdrop to a cosmic mythological struggle in which the brave pooches must combat Norse gods and demons to save the world. Dog lovers and readers ten and up who enjoy the infusion of classic mythology into contemporary settings in the manner of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett will appreciate this ambitious, quirky novel.
Children's Literature
An odd-looking dog shows up in a suburban neighborhood, and the boy who finds her pleads with his mother to allow her to stay. She looks enough like a Jack Russell Terrier to pass for an Earth creature, but the neighborhood dogs soon learn that she is from another world. She tells the dogs that the end of the world is at hand, that both their world and hers will be destroyed, and that with their help she can prevent it from happening. What is her own world? From various rather broad hints that she lets drop we find ourselves in the middle of Norse mythology. The “Golden Boy” that she has left behind is Baldur, struck down by a sprig of mistletoe which the dog has brought to Earth. This was a big mistake. The final winter has begun, and the two wolves who will destroyed the sun and the moon are approaching. The story has such a wonderful beginning that when it falls apart, it is a terrible disappointment. For one thing, the river Styx does not show up in Norse mythology; there is no ferryman Charos, there is no three-headed dog Cerberus … In short, let me just say that Greek/Roman mythology, while fascinating, does not belong in a story about Odin, Thor, and Loki. I cannot recommend this book. An alternative choice for a thorough explanation of Norse mythology, however, is The Children of Odin by Padraic Colum. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8 Elements of Norse and Greek mythology mingle in this animal fantasy. Fleeing Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods that is engulfing her world, a brave little dog is magically transported to our world and rescued by Sam and his three odd aunts. At first, Jenny feels happy and safe in her new home, but gradually she realizes that Fenrir, the hound of Ragnarok, threatens to overwhelm this world as well, so she recruits a ragtag band of misfit dogs to fight back. Stouthearted Chihuahua Pico and old tracker Gentleman Jim must journey beyond the edge of the world to gain the help of Orion the hunter, while excitable Checkers and slow, plodding Boris enter the underworld to enlist the aid of Cerberus, the hound of hell. Meanwhile, flighty poodle Flo must outwit Fenrir's world-devouring wolves. Various mythological characters-Charon, Baldur, the Furies, Harpies, etc.-make appearances, and even Sam's aunts aren't quite what they seem at first. The rather complicated plot jumps back and forth among the canine questers, and the abrupt changes of setting-from the rainbow bridge Bifrost to Hades to the Elysian Fields-can be a challenge to follow. The tone and dialogue also vary widely, ranging from portentous and mythic to modern vernacular-sometimes by the same character within the same page. (Would the ferryman of the dead be likely to complain petulantly, "This isn't a taxi, you know?") An additional choice where the demand for animal fantasy is high.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399243561
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/20/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author


Livi Michael lives in Lancashire, England. The Whispering Road was shortlisted for England’s Nestle Children’s Book Award, Ottakar’s Book Award, and the Sheffield Children’s Book Award.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Wonderful Story

    This is a great book and I would recommend it for mythology and animal lovers or anybody who wants a good book. This story is about a dog name Jenny who was chased out of her home, Ragnarok. Jenny is later found by a boy name Sam and soon becomes friends with the other local dogs. Jenny is no ordinary dog from the start and soon sparks something in each dog which leads them on an extraordinary journey. This book is a blend of Norse mythology as well as the modern day world. The characters have some depth because a chapter is spent on each of the important minor characters. They plot sucked me in and I read this book in only a couple of days. This is not a hard book to read and it has an inserting plot.

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