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5.0 1
by Charles de Lint
High school senior Miguel?s life is turned upside down when he meets new girl Lainey, whose family has just moved from Australia. With her tumbled red-gold hair, her instant understanding of who he is, and her unusual dog?a real Australian dingo?she?s unforgettable. And, as he quickly learns, she is on the run from an ancient bargain made by her ancestors. There?s no


High school senior Miguel?s life is turned upside down when he meets new girl Lainey, whose family has just moved from Australia. With her tumbled red-gold hair, her instant understanding of who he is, and her unusual dog?a real Australian dingo?she?s unforgettable. And, as he quickly learns, she is on the run from an ancient bargain made by her ancestors. There?s no question that Miguel will do whatever he can to help her?but what price will each of them have to pay? Dingo is quintessential Charles de Lint, set close to his beloved, invented city of Newford?a mixture of darkness and hope, humor and mystery, and the friendship within love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

World Fantasy Award winner de Lint (The Blue Girl), known for sophisticated urban fantasies that incorporate Celtic and Native American myths, branches out to include Australian folklore with this tale of Miguel Schreiber, a teenager who discovers that his new Aussie girlfriend, Lainey, is something other than human. As it turns out, she and her grouchy twin sister, Em, are shape-changers-half human, half dingo. Stranger still, their birth father, Tallyman, also a shape-changer, has been sent to capture them by Warrigal, the first Dingo, who has been trapped in a fig tree in the Australian dreamtime for centuries and needs their blood to free himself. Miguel, the twins and Johnny Ward, the local bully (Em likes him), must find some way to defeat these two powerful enemies if the girls are ever to live free from fear. Featuring simplified versions of its author's signature story elements-likable, if flawed protagonists, well-developed contemporary locales and the introduction of potent mythic characters directly into our world-this novella succeeds in its own right and, like Little (Grrl) Lost, will help attract readers to de Lint's more powerful work for older teens and adults. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
Readers will enjoy this novella that includes magic, hope, mystery, love, friendship and more. Miguel, the 17-year-old protagonist, tells this story in the present tense giving immediacy to exciting events. He falls in love with Lainey the first time he sees her. She is from Australia and has thick, red-gold hair. Her dog's fur is the same color. Miguel is fascinated by Lainey and her accent. After school, Miguel works in his father's record store and makes more friends there than at school. He becomes involved with Lainey and her twin sister, Em. The girls are home-schooled and not allowed to go about freely and have friends. The story unfolds with magic and mysterious happenings as the love between Miguel and Lainey develops. Miguel's archenemy, Johnny, becomes infatuated with Em. Miguel and Johnny have dark, magical experiences while trying to help the sisters. Miguel tries to overlook Johnny's misbehavior in order to help the girls. The twins are under a spell of living relatives and ancestors. Time brings serious and dangerous encounters. At the end of the magical experiences, the twins and Johnny are much the same as before. Miguel suffers blows from Johnny that require a brief hospital visit. Miguel and Lainey have a long-term commitment while Johnny and Em have uncertain future plans. Charles de Lint, the author, has written many fascinating books that include magic and mystery. Reviewer: Jennie DeGenaro
KLIATT - Cara Chancellor
Seventeen-year-old Miguel Schreiber doesn't know much about girls, but even he's pretty sure there's something odd about Lainey Howe. The day she stumbles into his father's shop—all red curls and Australian accent—he thinks there's a connection between them, although her identically red-haired dingo Em seems less than impressed. The next time he sees her, though, he literally is knocked over by the dingo's attentions while Lainey seems distinctly frosty. Then, there are the dreams. Ever since meeting Lainey, Miguel has been transported every night to an Australian forest, where a giant dingo demands "the girl." After discovering that Lainey and her twin sister Em share a rather furry secret, Miguel realizes that he may finally have found a girl worth fighting for, even if she's not 100% human. De Lint is undeniably one of today's best fantasy writers, and in Dingo he brings to life a captivating menagerie of Australian culture and Native American folklore, with just a dash of teenage first love. As with de Lint's other works, the reader is drawn into the fantastical nature of the tale without the fantasy element itself being overwhelming, meaning even those who are not strict fantasy readers are likely to enjoy this well-written novel. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

De Lint ingeniously incorporates Aboriginal mythology into an intriguing story. Miguel, 17, is minding his dad's funky comics and record store in a small resort community when a girl dashes in with her dog to escape the town bully. Miguel feels an immediate connection to her, but there is something strange about her dog. Gradually, he discovers that Lainey is a shape-changer, a magical creature from Australia's Aboriginal past, and the dog-really a dingo-is actually her twin sister. The girls are hiding from their father, who wants to sacrifice Lainey to the powerful Aboriginal spirit Warrigal, the original clan leader, who is trapped in a tree. Suddenly Miguel is catapulted into a rain forest fantasy world complete with a talking cautionary turkey, haunted ancestral bones, and mysterious spirits. Fantasy lovers will enjoy this tale of an initially clueless protagonist thrust into a dangerous situation where he's expected to become an instant hero. A somewhat unnecessary subplot involves the town bully, who actually has a heart of gold and a tender artistic side, and is drawn into the adventure when he falls for Lainey's twin. Still, the juxtaposition of contemporary teen life with fantasy is well done. Readers might be interested enough to investigate more about the complicated Aboriginal Dreamtime of Australia and its early clan spirits and creation myths.-Quinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Miguel Schreiber and his dad, a former biker who buys and sells comics and vinyl, live in the Point near the ocean. Australian Lainey and her twin sister Em have just moved to town; it seems they're being stalked by an ancient dingo spirit, and their stepfather tries to keep them safe by moving constantly and homeschooling the girls-who, to complicate things a bit further, are both shapechangers. A rich vein of Australian lore wraps around this story, as Miguel seeks to free Lainey, with the help of the town bully, who has fallen for Em. What's wonderful here is trademark de Lint: The Dreamtime and the spirits of those long dead take their places in a contemporary American world of high school, iPods and cell phones. Miguel tells this tale in a slightly stilted, self-conscious voice, understandable for a motherless teen who falls in love with a girl who spends part of her time as a dingo. Miguel is a nifty character, and his dad even more so, and the satisfying ending is romantic as heck. (Fantasy. 12+)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.41(w) x 7.31(h) x 0.63(d)
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Charles de Lint has been a seventeen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award, winning in 2000 for his short story collection Moonlight and Vines; its stories are set in de Lint’s popular fictional city of Newford, as is the novel The Blue Girl and much of the collection Waifs and Strays (a World Fantasy Award Finalist). His most recent novel is Little (Grrl) Lost (Viking). Charles de Lint and his musical and creative partner MaryAnn Harris live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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Dingo 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LILLYANA More than 1 year ago
Charles de Lint has a way to tell a story like nobody else you either love his books or don't but you should give him a try.