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Ghost Dog Secrets

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Overview

Each day, sixth-grader Rusty feeds a dog that's left chained in the frigid weather with no shelter, food, or water. When he realizes the dog has been injured, he tries to have Animal Control help - but when that fails, Rusty and his friend Andrew unchain the dog and take it. With the dog in their hideout, the boys face multiple challenges, including Andrew's snoopy sister and the escalating threats of the dog's abusive owner. Even more challenging? The appearance of a ghost dog that appears in Rusty's room, and ...

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Ghost Dog Secrets

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Overview

Each day, sixth-grader Rusty feeds a dog that's left chained in the frigid weather with no shelter, food, or water. When he realizes the dog has been injured, he tries to have Animal Control help - but when that fails, Rusty and his friend Andrew unchain the dog and take it. With the dog in their hideout, the boys face multiple challenges, including Andrew's snoopy sister and the escalating threats of the dog's abusive owner. Even more challenging? The appearance of a ghost dog that appears in Rusty's room, and is trying to lead him to an even deeper secret. . . .

Peg Kehret delivers another fast-paced story with lots of heart, which will leave young readers cheering for Rusty and the dogs.

"Heartwarming, suspenseful, and adventurous, Ghost Dog Secrets is another winner for Kehret." - VOYA

"This tale is both heart-wrenching and heart-racing." - The News Tribune

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Paisley Adams
Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret is an exciting book for animal lovers and adventure/mystery fans. Aided by the ghost of a collie, the main character, Rusty, tries to help a lonesome, neglected dog in a touching story of friendship and animal respect. Kehret masterfully creates believable characters with so much strength you can feel their emotions. Ghost Dog Secrets will be a favorite among animal-loving readers of all ages. Reviewer: Paisley Adams, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Ursula Adams
In Ghost Dog Secrets, award-winning author Peg Kehret takes on the issue of animal abuse and neglect in a story that will appeal to animal lovers. Kehret has written numerous books about the neglect of animals, and Ghost Dog Secrets is another wonderful addition to this category. The main character, Rusty, comes to the aid of a neglected German shepherd and in doing so faces tough consequences. Rusty and his best friend, Andrew, eventually steal the dog to protect it, causing a series of mounting events. Kehret also provides a supernatural edge to the story with a ghost dog that repeatedly appears to Rusty to help him in his mission. The story teaches readers about the reality of puppy mills and provides insight into the operation of the animal control system and the American Humane Society. Heartwarming, suspenseful, and adventurous, this story will surely be an enjoyable read for students in upper elementary through middle grades. Ghost Dog Secrets is another winner for Kehret, who tackles the issue of animal cruelty with thought-provoking situations and well-rounded characters that readers will easily identify with. Web sites included at the book's end will further inform readers about how they can prevent animal cruelty. Also, knitting directions are provided to make blankets for animal shelter cats. Reviewer: Ursula Adams
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Sixth grader Rusty wants nothing more than to own a dog but on his single mother's tight budget it is impossibility. When he sees a dog chained to a tree on a cold frigid day he not only becomes incensed, he becomes obsessed. Prompted by the apparition of a ghost dog, Rusty feeds the animal and tries to give it much needed love. The day that he visits and sees that the animal has been beaten, he decides to take the dog away from his cruel owner. Telling himself this is not really stealing, Rusty and his best friend care for the dog but the situation gets complicated when his friend's sister reveals their secret. The owner of the dog discovers its whereabouts and begins to threaten and stalk Rusty and his mom. With the help of animal control services, they take steps to keep the dog from his owner but not before the man returns to forcefully take his dog back. The dog, named Ra by Rusty, runs away and Rusty in his efforts to find the dog uncovers a meth lab on the owner's property. All along the ghostly apparition appears to Rusty to encourage him and to give him enough clues to solve the mystery. This 1st person narrative moves at a rapid pace and Rusty is a likeable guy. Issues of animal abuse and Rusty's moral dilemma regarding the theft of the dog are neatly woven into the plot. Rusty's honesty with his mother and his steps to right a wrong are admirable traits in one so young. The apparition of the ghost dog is enough to keep readers turning the pages but not enough to frighten. There is plenty of suspense, well drawn characters, and a sufficiently eerie cover to draw kids in and keep them engaged. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Sixth-grader Rusty comes across a German shepherd chained outside with no food, water, or shelter, and knows he has to do something about it. He begins by sneaking food to the dog, but when a ghostly apparition of a collie appears to Rusty, and he realizes that the dog has been hurt, he decides he has to do something more. With the help of his friend Andrew, he rescues the animal and gives it a home in their old fort. But is it rescuing, or stealing? Eventually, the adults in the boys' lives get involved, and while doing the right thing is no less complicated, a happy ending (for most parties) is achieved. Rusty's first-person narrative is not entirely convincing, but dog lovers and fans of thorny moral dilemmas will appreciate this fast-paced story. And three cheers for the author for depicting adults who are loving, involved, and competent.—Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI
Kirkus Reviews

Sixth grader Randy spots a dog tied to a tree in a sleet storm and resolves to help, but after visiting it, he realizes it's being seriously abused. Although he reports the cruelty to the police, he's told that without proof of abuse, which he must collect, they cannot intervene. The appearance of a ghost dog determined to push Randy into saving the animal--and some encouragement from a friend--finally motivate him to rescue the dog by stealing it and hiding it away. Later, after being found out by his mother, she reluctantly becomes the dog's official foster parent, even as they are being stalked by its violent owner. The ghost dog makes several appearances, each time presciently guiding Randy. A lecture he (bizarrely) receives in school on "evidence to look for if we think someone has a methamphetamine lab on their property," plays a major role in the conclusion, one of several too-convenient aspects of the resolution. Readers eager for ghosts and suspense may enjoy this only-average, sometimes improbable effort. (pattern for animal-shelter cat blanket, Web resources on ghosts and animal cruelty) (Fiction. 10-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142419649
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 102,212
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 5.06 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Peg Kehret was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Minnesota, spent fourteen years in California, and now lives with her husband in Washington State. They have two grown children, four grandchildren, one dog, and one cat.

Peg's novels for children are regularly recommended by the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, and the Children's Book Council. She has won many state "young reader" or "children's choice" awards. Peg's characters are ordinary kids who find themselves in exciting situations and who use their wits to solve their problems. There is usually humor as well as suspense in her books. A long-time volunteer at The Humane Society, she often uses animals in her stories.

Before she began writing books for children, Peg published plays, short stories, articles, and two books for adults. She is a frequent speaker at conferences for librarians and teachers.

At the age of twelve, Peg had polio and was paralyzed from the neck down. Because she can remember that experience and her year of recovery so vividly, she finds it easy to write in the viewpoint of a twelve or thirteen year old. Most of her main characters are that age. Her autobiography, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, won the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, and the PEN Center USA West Award for Children's Literature.

When she is not writing, Peg likes to watch baseball, bake cookies, and pump her old player piano.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(61)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Blank

    This was a good book. It was not just interesting, but it also taught you to respect animals and how to identify a meth lab. Also, it taught how to rescue an abused animal without breaking any laws. While teaching you this she writes with suspence and makes you love Ra and wosh the best for him and Rusty.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2011

    Awesome

    My ten year old's fourth grade teacher read this book to her class, and the whole class loved it. My daughter thinks Ghost Dog Secrets is "the best book ever." She really liked the suspense and the excitement. She found the main character's desire to help animals inspiring. But parents be aware that there is a reference to a "meth lab" at the end.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Ghost Dog a Haunting, if Sometimes Slow, Read

    Ghost Dog Secrets is a snappy, enjoyable read. The plot can slow and becime predictable at moments, but picks back up without fail. Ra's unswerving loyalty is heartwarming, and sequences involving "Mean Man" Myers, Ra's abusive owner, can be terrifying. But the best part was the ghost dog. A haunting late-night summons is particularly chilling. The ghost dog's secrets, floating tantalizingly out of reach, are slowly revealed throughout the book, leaving you with a stirring cry against animal cruelty. I was swept up in this book, and highly reccomend it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I lov this book sooooo much... i hav read ALL of pegs books
    So mysterious

    PS. Hi..i like pickles and cupcakes

    5 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Its okay

    Awsome in begnning and ok at end

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Best book ever!!!

    You have to read it! It is sooooooooo good!!!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Best book ever!!!!!!!!!

    If you dont know whether not to buy this book or not i say do it!!!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Best book ever

    Just the sample gets my attention

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is like......the best book EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I thought at first wow this is so boring but after the 30th page its the most awesomeest book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Fun quick read

    It us a fast reader but it is very enjoyable also

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Oh

    O that was sort of good but not the best

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2011

    Very very good

    I love this book it is very good for kid well thats what i think

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Great book

    Such a great book

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Amazing

    Peg is an amazing author. My personnal favorite. Get it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2013

    I found out that ghost dog secrets was read to my 9 year old in

    I found out that ghost dog secrets was read to my 9 year old in school. I immediately went to my daughters school and demanded to know why you taught my 9 year old what METH IS. I could not believe a teacher could be that stupid! What is next? Heroin addiction ? pornography? rape? mass murders? I have made sure through the superintendant that this garbage will not be taught in our childrens schools. WHY DID THIS OLD LADY HAVE TO INCLUDE METH IN THE BOOK????? And she wins awards??

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    I love this book!!!!!!!!!!

    My mom said she would read this book because I love this book! She says when her 9 year old daughter loves Peg Kehret she knows she will to. My mom thinks I am crazy because I am 9 and I love this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This was a great book although it made me cry at some points it was a good book bye the way if you bo not like this you stink!!!!!!!!! !)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Amazing

    THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK I HPE YOU GET THIS GREAT BOOK AND YOU READ THIS BOOK THIS BOOK IA AWESOME

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Dog lover 101

    Best book ever on dogs go rusty and andrew also ra is a reallly cool name i love the story

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Great book get your great book

    I have read this book 3 times after I read it a 3rd time I plan to read it over and over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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