Ghost Dog Secrets

Ghost Dog Secrets

4.7 71
by Peg Kehret

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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

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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

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

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.78(d)
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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