More than anything, Dessa Dean needed a friend. A friend to love and confide in, a friend with whom she could share her heart. A friend who would delight in all the beauty and joy and fun of Christmas, only four days away.
Hope had just about run out, but then . . . there came a scratchin' at the door and Dessa Dean's life was forever changed.
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Lexile:||960L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
K. A. Nuzum, the author of A Small White Scar, had an early career as a ballroom dancer before earning her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She is the leader of a pack of five dogs, one husband, and two sons on a small farm in eastern Colorado.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Awesome. Touches your heart and makes you want to buy a puppy. <3
When i got this book it was in perfect condition. But the problem was not the condition the book was in but rather the story itself. I would not reccomend this story to young readers. But rather an older group. But it was ok overall. *
Dessa Dean is afraid to venture outside her cabin in Colorado. Not long ago, Dessa Dean and her mama were trapped outside in the snow - and mama didn't make it back alive.
Dessa Dean is tortured by daymares (nightmares that come in the daytime) and the tips of her ears, which were wounded with frostbite in the accident that claimed her mama, keep burning. She can't bring herself to leave the safety of inside and is wracked by grief.
When Dessa Dean finds a dog outside, things start to change. The dog has a sore leg and needs her help. Dessa Dean's daddy isn't thrilled with the idea of adding a dog to the family, especially since the dog has a fear of its own. The dog is afraid of enclosed spaces and doesn't like to have the cabin door shut.
Together, these two companions can learn to get past their fears and help each other heal.
THE LEANIN' DOG is a beautifully written story of healing and hope. Any animal lover will find something special about the story and enjoy the relationship between Dessa Dean and her newfound dog.
My Review of The Leanin¿ Dog by K. A. Nuzum: K. A. Nuzum¿s new book, The Leanin¿ Dog, tells a first person narrative story about a young girl named Dessa Dean who is eleven years old. The story takes place during the winter in Colorado in the 1930s just before Christmas. Dessa is a lonely child who desperately needs a friend, especially since her mother died. She thinks she will never be happy again. Dessa is trapped. She is a victim of her own mind¿s fear, the fear of leaving her home, known as agoraphobia. To make it harder, Dessa doesn¿t want her father to know about this fear. He has enough to deal with. While Father tries to keep things at home going by keeping the wood pile for the stove for food and warmth, he also tries to help Dessa with her school work. Along with that, he tries really hard to kill some animal for their dinner so that Christmas can be special. As father struggles with these things, Dessa still tries to stop what she calls the daymares and tries to keep Father from finding out about them. When Dessa¿s ears starts to ache, she knows a period of ¿losing Mama pain¿ is beginning. Her ears hurt as her memory takes her back to when her mother died and Dessa¿s ears had been frostbitten. She was holding her mother in the snow waiting for someone to find them even though their footprints were blotted away by the snowstorm. That horrible time when her mother died in her arms is something Dessa can¿t forget and therefore, she continues to have these nightmares (daymares) and can¿t force herself outside the house. What helps Dessa to deal with the pain and tragedy in her life comes in the form of a canine friend. A stray dog comes into Dessa¿s life and gives her someone to love again. The dog is just what she needs--a friend. Here is someone to tell her troubles to and share her secrets with as well as her heart. Dessa finds in the dog a friend who can help her deal with her paralyzing fear of leaving the house. Oddly enough, the dog has a fear as well. He doesn¿t like to be closed up in small places. When she finally coaxes him into the house and goes to close the door, he is upset and she realizes she must leave the door partly open as this dog also has a fear of something¿a fear of being in small, enclosed spaces known as claustrophobia. In order to ease his fear, the open door adds to Dessa¿s problems as it causes the piled up wood to burn quicker and invites marauders to the home. Slowly, with each friend allowing for the other¿s fear to be gently guarded, Dessa begins to find the happiness she has lost and this helps her with her father as well. Together, the three of them help each other to get through the tragedy of losing Dessa¿s mother and the joy of the holiday season. Submitted by Karen Haney, August, 2008