Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.



4.7 35
by Stephanie S. Tolan

See All Formats & Editions

Charley knows a lot about pain. She endures it when she walks on her newly shattered leg, she sees it when her father buries himself in an eighty-hour work week, and she runs from it when she sees photographs her mother took before her death. Then one day, Charley meets a wild, abused dog that knows as much about pain as she does, and, despite herself, she feels an


Charley knows a lot about pain. She endures it when she walks on her newly shattered leg, she sees it when her father buries himself in an eighty-hour work week, and she runs from it when she sees photographs her mother took before her death. Then one day, Charley meets a wild, abused dog that knows as much about pain as she does, and, despite herself, she feels an immediate connection and vows to help him. But how will one heartbroken girl help mend the battered spirit of an untamable dog?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Jo Edwards
Three months after breaking her leg in a car accident, twelve-year-old Charley goes for a walk around a nearby lake. Along the way she sees a frightened stray dog. Their eyes meet and Charley feels something special pass between them. That same day Charley gets her workaholic father's permission to tame the wild spirit that she names Coyote. During the taming process, Charley's repressed emotions are released when they walk the same woods trails that her late mother used to photograph. She hears her mother's voice telling her to listen to nature. At last Charley is able to enter her mother's photography studio and study her work. Coyote's friendship helps Charley cherish her mother's memory, appreciate each day, and eagerly anticipate the future. This well-written novel will hold the reader's interest from start to finish. Charley's character demonstrates how to deal successfully with her emotional and physical pain--her mother's death two years earlier, her father's eighty-hour work week, a car accident, and her best friend's desertion to summer camp. Charley's feelings of rejection and isolation shift to exhilaration when she meets Coyote. The author's portrayal of their mutually healing friendship is heartwarming. Tolan's picture perfect imagery will have readers feeling like they are right there with Charley and Coyote.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Charley's mother died just a short time ago, and, still raw with grief, the 12-year-old is faced with a miserable summer recuperating from a car accident that has left her with a slowly healing leg. Her best friend is spending the summer at tennis camp, and her father has buried himself in work because of his own pain. Her "physical terrorist" insists that she starts walking so she decides to make her way around a nearby lake. The woods hold too many memories of her mother and her nature photography so she's avoided that area up till now. On her first day out, she encounters a stray dog. She names him Coyote and sets out to see if she can tame him. The girl and the dog have an almost psychic connection; Charley can feel the trauma Coyote has been through even as he helps her to heal physically as well as emotionally. Even Charley's dad opens up. This is a sweet, gentle story of healing and the strong bond that can develop between humans and animals. The lovely imagery and involving plot should appeal to more than just animal lovers.-Diana Pierce, Running Brushy Middle School, Cedar Park, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In the hands of a less-talented author, the story of a half-wild dog and the heartbroken girl who tames him might have descended into saccharine sentimentality. Luckily, Tolan's tale, although somewhat predictable, is well-written and engaging. Charlene, known as Charley, is a sixth-grader recovering from the effects of a recent car accident and still unable to accept the death of her mother two years earlier. Cared for by her distant, workaholic father and a housekeeper, Charley resents the changes in her life and initially resists her father's attempts to encourage her to spend more time outdoors. When she sees a strange dog, however, her interest is piqued and she begins to exercise regularly in her efforts to get close to him. Tolan's decision to use the present tense adds suspense and immediacy. The long, drawn-out process of taming the dog, which Charley names Coyote, is clearly described and will likely enthrall dog lovers. Charley's emotional recovery is handled more delicately, allowing readers to discern thematic parallels without feeling manipulated. Touching and heartwarming. (Fiction. 11-14)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt


By Stephanie Tolan

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Stephanie Tolan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060579358

Chapter One


Charley is halfway across the dam, sweat dripping down her back under her T-shirt, when her father drives past her on his way back to work. She doesn't look at him. As slowly as he is driving, the car still kicks up gray-white dust from the gravel road. She walks through the dust, as straight and tall as she can make herself, jamming her walking stick into the stones as she goes, trying not to limp. She is walking. It is what he wants, and she is doing it. But if he's so interested in the best thing for her, why can't he let her decide what that is?

"I won't have you sitting in that chair all summer!" he yelled when she refused to come sit with him and eat the lunch Sarita had to scramble to fix when he showed up suddenly, unexpectedly, in the middle of the workday.

"Summer hasn't even started yet," she yelled back.

"It's the last day of school -- for kids who are in school," he said.

You'd think it was her fault that she isn't in school, finishing the sixth grade with everybody else!

"You only have ten weeks to build up your strength and be ready when school starts again. You are to get outside today. It's time, Charlene! Your physical therapist says you're healing well and a little exercise is all you need to get back tonormal. You will start by walking. Today. Is that clear?" He was using his I-am-the-boss voice that keeps a factory full of workers in line.

She lowered the footrest of the recliner chair, picked up her walking stick from the floor, and got to her feet as gracefully as she could. Without a word she went down the hall to her room and put on her sneakers. Then, pounding the stick on the floor as she went, she walked straight through the living room and the dining room, out the sliding glass door, and down the ramp he had had built over the stairs her second week in the hospital.

Her father was at the breakfast table in the lake room when she left, waving his fork in the air as he talked into his cell phone. He might have taken time to come home for lunch, but he hadn't really left his work, Charley thinks as his car moves up the hill on the other side of the dam and disappears around the curve. It's what her father does -- work. Normal for him means his eighty-hour workweek.

By the time the dust from his car settles, Charley has reached the end of the dam, where there is a bench under a willow tree by the water. She could sit there in the shade awhile, looking at Eagle Lake, its ripples glittering in the sun. She could rest her leg and then go home again. But she keeps walking, up the slope of the road.

She can walk all right. She is done with the wheelchair. Done with crutches. The "miracle" of the rod the doctors stuck into the bone in her right leg from her hip to her knee means she has never had to wear a cast. By now all there is to show for what happened to her is

the scar down her leg where they put the rod in. And the walking stick she made so she wouldn't have to use the stupid old-lady-looking cane Tony, her physical terrorist, tried to give her after the crutches.

Her father wants her back to normal. Normal. What is that? Is that what her life was the first week in March? Before her friend Amy's brother Travis gave them a ride home from school that rainy Monday afternoon? Before he got to showing off and playing NASCAR driver? Before what the papers called a "one-car accident" that was really one car and one tree? She can't remember the accident that put her in the hospital and ended the school year for her. She can't even remember the first few days after it. The doctors say, because of the concussion, she probably never will.

If there is one thing she's learned for sure in her twelve years of life, it is that you can't go back to the way things used to be. No matter how much you want to. You can't go back. Somehow or other, you have to keep going forward. It's just that she hasn't figured out yet how to do that.

Whether she spends the whole summer in the recliner chair or out here walking the hot, dusty road around Eagle Lake, it can't be like the last two summers. This summer can't be Charley and Amy at Amy's house swimming in Amy's pool, playing tennis, going to movies, hanging out at the mall, spending whole days at a time at Carrowinds amusement park with Amy's family. Because this summer Travis is working to pay his father back for the car he wrecked. And Amy . . . Amy . . .

Charley stabs her walking stick into the gravel, and a little puff of dust rises into the air.

She has reached the split where the gravel road that is Eagle Lake Drive goes straight ahead, past the caretaker's house and out to the paved county road, and also right, through the woods toward the south side of the lake. She turns right and keeps walking. Where the road splits again -- right to the four houses closest to the dam and left to the rest of the houses on the south side of the lake -- she goes left. Trees nearly meet over her head -- thick woods on one side, woods with houses on the other.

She goes on stabbing her walking stick into the gravel, goes on making the little puffs of dust. Amy, her best friend since second grade, is going off to spend the whole summer at Lake George in upstate New York with Becky Sue Lindner. . . .


Excerpted from Listen! by Stephanie Tolan Copyright © 2006 by Stephanie Tolan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Stephanie S. Tolan is the author of more than twenty-five books for young readers, including Listen!, which won the Christopher Award and the Henry Bergh ASPCA Award. Her New York Times bestselling novel Surviving the Applewhites received a Newbery Honor and was named a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book, and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Tolan lives on a little lake in a big woods in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband (Bob), two dogs (Coyote—the real dog from Listen!—and Samantha), one cat (Puck), and plenty of outdoor creatures.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Listen! 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Listen by Stephanie Tolan is one of the best books I have read this year. The main character is named Charley and is a recent accident victim that is only twelve. She has a metal insert in her leg due to this crash. She has also lost her mother and never really sees her father anymore.
This story is based upon a lonely girl trying to find a friend during summer vacation. Charley meets a wild dog in the woods during one of her walks to help heal her leg. Luckily she gets much more than a friend from Coyote, she gets a life-long companion. After trying to tame Coyote for nearly three weeks, Charley starts to make some of her first breakthroughs with Coyote. All through the summer Charley and Coyote get closer and closer. Then when the vet comes, Charley learns that Coyote needs a surgery to keep him healthy. After that Charley decides to try to get coyote close enough to get him that treatment.
This story is set near Eagle Lake in North Carolina. It also is present day when this story takes place. One main theme is that sometimes when you feel down, you need to just keep going.
I loved this book for many different reasons. One of these is it was definitely unpredictable. Another thing I liked is that it can be very close to some people that seem like they never see their parents. The last thing I like about this story is that anyone in some point of their life can see something in this story happening to them, whether it is trying to recover, or losing someone you love.
There are many connections I can make to this book. One of them is to not be able to see your parents that much. Another is that sometimes I can not see any of my friends over the summer.

Related Books that I have read:
Tiger Rising
A dog¿s life
Everything on a waffle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a GREAT story. Favorite book ever!!!!!!! U should definently read it!!! You'll LOVE it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! A true story of love!
Madi More than 1 year ago
Stephanie Tolan's Listen! was a very interesting story. With the plot and characters so realistic, it really scoops up the reader and makes you want more. And feelings about Coyote almost immeidiatly go to pity and then victory. An overall great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Listen by Stephanie S. Tolan is about a girl named Charley. Charley was in a car accident that was so bad that she still has trouble walking. She also lost her mother a few years back. She lives by a lake that provides her with painful memories. Her feelings seem to have disintegrated and she has taught herself not to cry. With all these feelings bunched up, waiting to explode, how can she hold herself together?
One day, Charley sees a wild dog in the forest. She decides to name him Coyote. Shortly after that she decides to try to tame him. Gradually, she begins to get closer and closer to him (Both physically and mentally). All summer long Coyote is Charley¿s ¿project.¿ After having a vet see Coyote, she discovers he has heartworms, but she still needs time to tame him a little bit further. Will she tame in time to get him treated?
There are many themes from this story. One would be sort of quote, life is what it is. You can¿t change what¿s already happened. Another would be, if you keep persevering harder and harder, most likely all that work will be paid off.
I personally connected to the book by the quote life is what it is. I find that very true. Another way I connected to it would be the struggles she¿s gone through. Everyone has their ups and downs, but what really matters (in my opinion) would be how you deal with it.
Some related books I have read:
Tiger Rising
Well sort of related:
Number the Stars
North to Freedom
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was probably one of the books i have read the most..i got it when i was seven and have read it millions of times! I loved it because a twelve year old girl lost her mom and her dad is at work most of the time her best friend goes off with some snobby girl and she is alone most of the time.she gets hurt in a car crash ( way before book started ) and has to keep walking in order to keep fit. Then a mystierious dog she falls in love with comes into her life. She tames him with difficuty and rhey become the best of friends. :D :)
Laura-Jane More than 1 year ago
My son had to read Listen for a book report in his 4th grade class. I often read the books my children read and thought Listen was a great story. Charlie is still dealing with her mother's death when she is in a terrible car accident (all before the story begins). Over the course of one summer she not only rehabilitates physically, she also rehabilitates emotionally through the relationship she develops with a ferel dog. My son loved the story and we have recommended it to friends. I think children 8-12 could easily enjoy this. It would also make a great classroom read-aloud!
127 More than 1 year ago
Listen is a very good book, full of mystery, excitment, and responsiblity! One reason i wanted to read this book is because i love dogs, so that is why i chose this book in the first place! i am an ok reader but this book could have been alittle more changing for me but it was still a good book!!! :) smile like it is yuor last day! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
* Hello, Hello? Anybody home? Think McFly!*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We hav been going through a power struggle as well, our leader being gone becaus of a broken nook and our deputy being *very* inactive. We are doing an election for a temporary leader and deputy. I suggest you do a similar thing, voting someone the clan thinks will b best to lead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book so awesome so amazing im reading it again its that amazing!!!!!!!!! Write back say hi "so amazing" ( title name)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
<3 this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Charley is a girl who is damaged in body, and also in spirit her mom passed away but all of that changed when ahe met a dog in the woods that she tried to keep and name him listen thats when her life begun to change.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read listen in reading groups in third grade. It is a sweet story and is very unpredicable.
gc36 More than 1 year ago
This was a Christmas gift for a Grandson - felt sure he would enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is just plain out AMAZING!!! I read it not to long ago and I was surpriser about how good it is. I love dogs so this really caught my eye. Although it starts out a little boring it gets so much better!!!!!!!!! What make makes even better is that it is based on a true story! This book is a MUST read!!!!!!!! Read it NOW!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok have fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am for Velveteyes.