Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyTerry Riley, age 12, finds a smart, handsome collie that, after the boy's clever maneuvering, his indigent mother lets him keep. The dog mustn't interfere with Terry's obligations as a choir soloist, however--his key to a music scholarship and a better life. Yet when the boy discovers how quickly Duffy learns tricks, he decides that his time is better spent plotting the animal's show business career. But is this what Duffy wants? Sherlock ( Four of a Kind ) leans toward sentimental, boy-and-his-dog fare, as when Duffy saves Terry during a blizzard. The economic climate of an oppressed, albeit spirited mining town is acutely delineated, though, and the inhabitants' voices ring true. Despite a saccharine ending, this first-person narrative, steeped in the beliefs and rituals of Catholicism and deftly embodying rural America, is basically a solid and agreeable effort. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-- Mrs. Riley cautiously consents to let her son Terry keep the stray Border collie he finds near the church. Between choir practice and doing odd jobs for the neighbors, he trains the talented dog so that they can put on trick shows to earn more money. But when he is embarrassed by his dog's howling along with his solo in church, Terry runs off into the woods and ends up in the middle of a sudden snowstorm. Suffering from hypothermia, he starts to drift into unconsciousness, and Duffy heroically saves his master. Told in a first-person narrative, this story transports readers into the mind of a boy whose love for dogs overwhelms his other commitments. Sherlock lays out a realistic setting in which difficult choices must be made in a tough world. While not as engaging as Beverly Cleary's Strider (Morrow, 1991), this one will fit in well with other contemporary dog stories. An above-average purchase. --Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Pub . Lib . System, FL
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Some Fine Dog is a good book. It is very touching. I wrote a report about it for school and I got an A+. Everyone loved my word choice and my report was put on the wall of fame in our school. Then the whole class used every library they could think of to get the book. To read my report, get in touch with me by email.