Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyCollard (A Platypus Probably) makes a smooth move to fiction with this affecting first novel about a sensitive yet resilient eighth grader struggling to find his place in his new world. Narrator Guy and his mother have recently moved from California to Montana to live with his maternal grandfather. Still smarting from the loss of his father, who left home a year earlier, the boy also sorely misses the life he has left behind. Streak, Guy's frisky new Border collie, provides some solace, as does Luke, a classmate who befriends him on the first day of school, when Guy has a run-in with thuggish, tobacco-chewing class bully Brad. Despite Luke's friendship, Guy feels that being on Brad's "hit list" has alienated him from the other kids at school; in one poignant passage, he confides, "I don't know what the answer is. I just know I'm tired of feeling like I'm in a foreign country where everyone knows the rules but me." With Luke's help, Guy trains Streak to fetch a Frisbee in order to compete in the annual dog Frisbee-catching contest, of which Brad's German shepherd is the reigning champ. Young dog lovers will especially enjoy Collard's detailed accounts of the two competitions in which these rivals and their pooches participate, the second of which entails a decidedly drastic wager. The author provides further dimension to this strong story through Guy's rapport with his perceptive, understanding grandfather and the revelation of the issues plaguing Luke's family. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-7-Thirteen-year-old Guy's favorite hobbies were skateboarding, surfing, and playing video games with his friends, but that was in California before his dad left and he and his mother moved in with Grandpa. Kids in Montana don't do the same things and, besides, he has no friends. Brad, the school bully, is using him as his own personal punching bag. He eventually becomes friends with Luke Grant, who suggests that Guy's Border collie might be a good candidate for the annual Frisbee-catching contest. Since Brad's German shepard is the current favorite, Guy's entry intensifies their rivalry. When he bets Brad for ownership of his beloved pet, readers share his desperation to best the bully. An easy read with believable characters, the story has enough action to keep reluctant readers interested.-Kathryn Childs, Morris Mid/High School, OK Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsWhen eighth grader Guy Martinez moves to small-town Montana, the only good thing is his new dog Streak, a border collie. At school he makes a friend, Luke Grant, and an enemy, class bully Brad Mullen. Luke helps him train his dog to catch frisbees, but Brad has a frisbee-catching dog, too. When Guy foolishly bets his dog on the outcome of the regional championships, he knows he has made a serious mistake. A veteran nonfiction writer, Collard shows in his first novel that he can construct a suspenseful plot and create believable characters. Some good things happen during the year: A clever teacher changes Guy's opinion of English class, and he finds a girlfriend. However, not all of Guy's problems miraculously disappear. His father doesn't come back and his new friend, whose family was ostracized for opposing an environmentally unsound mining venture, leaves town. But Guy realizes that sometimes you have to accept that bad things happen, and move on. With a dog like Streak, he can. (Fiction. 9-13)
- Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.32(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.73(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
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Dog Sense based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This is a great book but I dont know how Sneed writes so well. It is very good and you should read it. Interesting name, Sneed is...