Just a Dog

Overview

Sometimes a dog isn't just a dog - sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.

Mr. Mosely is a special dog. Not just because he's so big (he's part Great Dane.) Not just because he's all white (with one black spot under his eye and a heart shaped splotch on his chest.) Not just because he's clumsy, or because of tricks (he only knows one, and it's not very good.) He's special because he seems to know exactly what everyone in Corey's family needs, even when they ...

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Just a Dog

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Overview

Sometimes a dog isn't just a dog - sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.

Mr. Mosely is a special dog. Not just because he's so big (he's part Great Dane.) Not just because he's all white (with one black spot under his eye and a heart shaped splotch on his chest.) Not just because he's clumsy, or because of tricks (he only knows one, and it's not very good.) He's special because he seems to know exactly what everyone in Corey's family needs, even when they don't know themselves. This is the story of Mr. Mosely, from his puppyhood to the last time he curls up on the back porch. It's the story of how sometimes a dog isn't "just a dog". Sometimes he's the glue the holds a whole family together.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite the title and opening line ("The day my dad said that was ‘just a dog,' my mum punched him"), it soon becomes clear that the enormous pet at the center of this tearjerker of a dog story, first published in Australia in 2010, is anything but "just a dog" to his family. The deep-felt emotion surrounding Dad's statement and Mum's reaction surfaces at the end of the novel, which is narrated by Moe's young owner, Corey, in neatly linked anecdotes. Moe's energy, affectionateness, and (it must be said) demise easily bring to mind John Grogan's Marley. There are well-crafted light moments, too: Corey's sister decorates Moe with markers, the dog shreds a stuffed Pink Panther that has a funny backstory, and Moe learns to fetch the family's newspaper (as well as those delivered to neighbors). Sobering entries describe the events leading to Moe's decline and death, as well as Corey's father's downward spiral after losing his job. Reading like a heartfelt eulogy, Bauer's (Don't Call Me Ishmael!) book will be particularly moving for anyone mourning the loss of a pet. Ages 8–12. (Dec.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Bauer pulls no punches in this story about a loyal dog and his family. Warm, fuzzy, and funny moments abound, but the going gets rough in the last few chapters, when life and love prove just how messy and painful these feelings can be. The narrator is young Corey Ingram, and thanks to Bauer's adept style, the book reads very much like a boy's endearing, rambling recollection of misadventures with a beloved pet. Mr. Mosely is a Great Dane mix, a well-intentioned bull in a china shop entirely devoted to his people. The heartbreak begins when Moe is hit by a car; he recovers, but the accident itself and the moments after are gut-wrenching. Moe later succumbs to cancer, and the family's efforts to care for him in his last days are strikingly tender. At the same time, Corey's parents are having struggles of their own, and the tension comes to a head in the backyard over the dog's body. There is no tidy, happy ending. Corey's parents remain together, but the relationship is uneasy. Corey recalls Moe's serene personality and vows that he, too, will wait and hope for good things to come. Kids experiencing similar stressors will find honest company in this unflinching story of the risks and rewards of all kinds of relationships.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
From the Publisher

Praise for JUST A DOG:

“Dog lovers will lap up this appealing Australian import from its beguiling cover to the last page, at which point they will probably need a tissue or two.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Bauer pulls no punches in this story about a loyal dog and his family. Warm, fuzzy, and funny moments abound . . . [an] unflinching story of the risks and rewards of all kinds of relationships.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“Be prepared with Kleenex for kids weeping over the wonderful Mister Mosely.” – BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545374521
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 625,856
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael Gerard Bauer’s first book was THE RUNNING MAN and was named the 2005 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers. Michael lives in Brisbane, Australia. He grew up with two dogs, Penny and Kim (and Kim’s nine puppies), and includes many of their stories in JUST A DOG.
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