School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-7-- Cleaver is the dog that Sarah's dad gave the family just before he walked out a year ago. Seventh-grader Sarah, her younger sister Cori, their mother, and their grandmother all work to keep the family diner going. As a result, Sarah doesn't have much time for friends, although she does play on the school hockey team. Cleaver keeps things lively with his good-natured clumsiness and daily demand for banana ice cream. Dad is sending signals that he's interested in coming home if Mom will have him. His mother, also, would like a reconciliation with the daughter-in-law and grandchildren whom she has never met. Duffy handles his various plot lines competently and keeps the story moving along well. Sarah emerges as a likable girl who understands her mother's reluctance to be hurt again, even though she wants her father to come home. Development of all the primary characters is nicely done. The ending is a bit abrupt, and the mother's sudden change of heart even more so. Kids will be pleased with the happy ending, however, and probably won't care about the abuptness. This is pleasant reading for fans of Delton's ``Angel'' books (Houghton) or Haynes' books about Taffy Sinclair (Bantam). --Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, Mass.
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