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BooklistWriting a novel that tackles tough issues like grief and loss while maintaining a measure of levity is no easy feat, but that is exactly what Cadenhead accomplishes here. Lovable Sally Simplesmith is confronting many of the social problems that are common to the preteen experience: her classmates treat her as though she is invisible, while her father is an oft-absent workaholic. To complicate her plight, Sally is also coping with the very recent death of her mother. While tearfully visiting her mother's grave, she encounters a tiny dog that seems like the solution to her loneliness. The only problem is that her new pooch Bones is a lively little skeleton. When Bones is falsely accused of a crime, his separation from Sally seems inevitable.
Spooky without being scary, dark without being morbid, this is a winning tale about loyalty in the face of loss. Dog lovers and fans of storytellers like Neil Gaiman will adore sullen Sally and her dearly departed sidekick.