K-Gr 5-Ben and his dad visit a junkyard every Friday to get car parts. There the boy befriends the guard dog, Spike. Week after week, he tries to communicate with the owner about taking better care of the animal, but he's too ashamed to speak because of his stutter. Finally, after a break-in, the owner threatens to get rid of the dog because he is too friendly, and Ben finds the courage to ask if he can buy him. As the boy goes home with Spike, readers know that he has gained a little self-confidence. The illustrations realistically represent the situations, conveying the junkyard setting, Ben's reluctance to speak, and the growing attachment between the child and the dog. The book has a foreword for adults and lists additional resources, including organizations and Web sites. This inspirational story will be invaluable for children who stutter or who know someone who does.-Kate McLean, Dekalb County Public Library, Tucker, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.