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Publishers WeeklyJimmy, a one year-old yellow lab based on the author's dog, offers a harrowing first-person perspective on Hurricane Katrina. When his family doesn't return home, Jimmy nearly drowns and the trauma makes him lose his bark. Finally rescued from the roof of a floating shed, Jimmy is taken to an animal shelter, then sent to live with a family in New York City, where he is renamed Hooper. Paley fills her gentle first novel with engaging animal characters, including an otter that helps Hooper brave the hurricane and a hard-knocks mutt with one eye. Hooper's voice is humorous and good-natured ("Garbage? Are you kidding? This is a banquet hall. I can smell the hot dog from here"), but Paley balances her anthropomorphizations with genuine descriptions of his and other dogs' behaviors. When Hooper recovers his bark during a New York lightning storm ("No storm has the right to do this to me.... Hey! I don't have to be hiding anymore. Hear me?") readers may be similarly moved to stand up to their fears. Appended photos feature the real-life Hooper with Paley's family. Ages 8-12.
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