by Michael Northrop


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Rotten by Michael Northrop

A troubled teen. A rescued Rottweiler. An unlikely friendship.

Jimmer "JD" Dobbs is back in town after spending the summer "upstate." No one believes his story about visiting his aunt, and it's pretty clear that he has something to hide. It's also pretty clear that his mom made a new friend while he was away---a rescued Rottweiler that JD immediately renames Johnny Rotten (yes, after that guy in the Sex Pistols). Both tough but damaged, JD and Johnny slowly learn to trust each other, but their newfound bond is threatened by a treacherous friend and one snap of Johnny's powerful jaws. As the secrets JD has tried so hard to keep under wraps start to unravel, he suddenly has something much bigger to worry about: saving his dog.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545495875
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 471,685
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 16 Years

About the Author

Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of TombQuest, an epic book and game adventure series featuring the magic of ancient Egypt. He is also the author of Trapped, an Indie Next List Selection, and Plunked, a New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection and an NPR Backseat Book Club Pick. An editor at Sports Illustrated Kids for many years, he now writes full-time from his home in New York City. Learn more at

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Rotten 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Chancie More than 1 year ago
Pretty predictable, and it lacks a lot of the emotion it feels like it should have. I feel I need to stop reading books with a dog as the main character because they always turn out super flat. Disappointing.
BailsChris More than 1 year ago
 After a summer away from his friends and his mom, JD is finally coming home but to a place that is not entirely the same as when he left it. His friends have bounded with different people, his girlfriend is somewhat of a sour note, and his mom adopted this dog that seems to hate all men. Welcome home? I've spent three or four weeks away from home and come home to a completely different place than the one I left behind. My friends are suddenly more busy than when I left, my parents have made plans that I had no idea about, and my dog isn't nearly as excited to see me as she used to be. The first thought that crosses any person's mind is, "What happened? Where is my real friends - my real family?" I liked the whole concept of the story which is very simple. There isn't a ton of subplots going on in the background. I know that compared to perhaps the concept of most other YA novels this one is pretty simple but it works for the plot line. I prefer the shortened version of the main character's name, JD, far more than his actual name, which is honestly surprising because most of the time I like the full name more than the nickname. He is the rebellious guy that has a fun loving personality. He prefers to keep to himself in his room if he isn't hanging out with his friends. It takes some time for this rescued puppy that his mom adopted to warm up to him and a friendship sparks between the two of them. I wasn't extremely enchanted with him in the beginning because he honestly seemed a little boring, especially with the simple plot. I slowly started to warm up to him as his affections toward the dog grew and so on. His mom is someone that I feel bad for. She is trying to have a good relationship with her son and keep their family together in a tight knit way. After sending him away, she hopes to protect him from his past mistakes but when she has to work a lot, it is hard to follow through. I admire her choices and the choices she wishes her son wouldn't make. I can sense a lot of my mom in this character because it was the same situation with her and my brother. Johnny Rotten, oh how I despise this name for a dog despite how he may think it fits. I prefer the idea of calling him JR instead like JD. I adore dogs. I have a yellow lab that is my best friend, in fact she is more frequently by my side than not. So, of course, I was thrilled with the concept of this whole novel in general. The author really captured how an abused dog would act and how a dog in general is during the moments when JR is in the scene. I am always cautious when friends take such a large role in the plot of the story because it can be either a very good thing or a very bad thing. More often than not, friends betray friends and that is what makes it hard. His friends are no different. Rudy is perhaps his best friend and I was thrilled that he stayed by JD's side throughout the story. I was worried that he would be the one that ends up hurting him the most. I was pleased to see it was not the case.  I enjoyed the story, it wasn't my most favorite story but it was a good read anyway. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read4YA More than 1 year ago
Rotten is a heart-warming story about a boy and his dog. Sounds cliché, right? Not so. Michael Northrup puts a fresh spin on an old idea. Jimmer “JD” Dobbs gets home from “upstate” and discovers a new roommate: a rescued Rottweiler. JD renames him Johnny Rotten after the lead singer of Sex Pistols. I have to admit that the name suits the dog, but the idea that JD listens to old school punk seems far-fetched. JD’s voice wavered, at times coming across as younger than his sixteen years, but it evened out about halfway through.  Like most doglovers, I fell for Johnny Rotten. Northrup could’ve made the dog any one of the “bully” breeds, but there’s something lovable about Rottweilers. Yes, they can be vicious, but they can also be as loveable as a retriever. The fact that he’s a rescue adds to his character.  The reason JD spent his summer “upstate” is pretty easier to figure out, but the details are a little surprising. As the events unfold to the reveal, I kept thinking I didn’t want to know. The mystery  added to JD’s character. Of course, I just didn’t want it to be something so horrible that I’d think differently of him after I found out. Yeah, I grew attached to JD.  Overall, Rotten is a great story without the usual fluff found in a lot of YA. It could be qualified as a “boy book,” but I think girls will enjoy it too. It’s definitely one for school librarians and teachers to get their hands on. 
JenniferPittman More than 1 year ago
I am partial to “bully” breeds. I grew up with Rottweiler’s, and currently have a pit bull. I had to think about whether I wanted to read this book or not. Rottwieler and a dog bite doesn’t mix. I had to decide if the chance of the dog being put down was worth the time to read Rotten. I don’t mind reading about people getting killed in books……just not dogs. I am glad that I read the book. Rotten was a great book. You get to experience what a teenager (or anyone for that matter) goes through when getting attached to a pet that has bit someone. We had a biter. A biting Rottweiler at that. The emotional ties between a person and their dog, their companion, is strong. They become your best friend, your family. The beginning of the book starts with JD (Jimmer) coming home at the end of summer. When he gets home he finds out his mother has rescued a Rottweiler from his death. JD renamed him Johnny Rotten. Not long after JR bites Mars, JD’s friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dog tale An awesome book about a boy and his Rottie!