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Everyone Likes Dogs: Great Books About Dogs

by Miriam Downey 28. May 2013 18:11

 I recently read an article by a veterinarian who said that there are certain breeds of dogs that he isn't seeing much of any more. The list included Irish setters, cocker spaniels, and collies among others. All three of these are breeds of dogs that have played important roles in my life. The writer of the article suggested that the popularity of certain dog breeds has to do, in part, with the breeds of dogs that are being shown on television. He suggested, for instance, that when the show Lassie was no longer on the air, the popularity of collies waned, and that when the Taco Bell ads featured the talking Chihuahua, the popularity of the Chihuahua dramatically increased.

Many of us have dogs that we love. I inherited a mutt named Buck when my son and family moved into a third floor condo in Chicago. No room for a dog. Buck came to live at our house. He was already an old dog when he came, and he lived with us for five years. Every afternoon at 3 pm, he would come and lay his head on my lap. "Leave your desk. It's time to go for a walk," he seemed to be saying to me. Such a wonderful dog!

This week, let's look at some chapter books and novels where dogs play an important role. Several of these books are available as ebooks, while the rest are available at your library or book store.

Chapter Books

Bulu: African Wonder Dog by Dick Houston. A true story of an incredible dog that became the foster parent to orphaned animals in the African bush.

Lad: A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune. Lad is a collie dog with a soul. The first in a series of books.

Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight.The first book in a series about a beautiful collie. There is a movie and an entire television series based on this book. There is also a picture book series by Rosemary Wells based on Eric Knight's books.

Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard. The first book in a series about an Irish Setter. Wonderful adventure series.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. Yeller is a stray dog on the Texas frontier. A Newbery award book. Also a movie.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Justor. Milo and his watchdog named Tock take a memorable magical journey.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. A boy and his two hounds roam the countryside. A children's classic.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Marty finds an abused beagle named Shiloh in the hills, but there is nothing but trouble when he brings the dog home.

Novels

Alpha Dog by Jennifer Ziegler. Katie's adoption of Seamus, an orphaned dog, changes her whole world.

Marley and Me by John Grogan. The golden retriever Marley plays an important role in a young family's life. Also a delightful movie.

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DeCamillo. Opal goes into the grocery store and comes out with a stray dog. She names him Winn Dixie after the store. An excellent movie as well.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat. The absolute funniest dog book ever!

Sounder by William H. Armstrong. Sounder is the pet dog of an African American sharecropper family. Newbery award book and a great movie.

Books About Choosing and Caring for Dogs

Complete Dog Book for Kids by the American Kennel Club.

How to Speak Dog by Sarah Whitehead.

Puppy Training for Kids by Sarah Whitehead.

My Dog! A Kid's Guide to Keeping a Happy and Healthy Pet by Michael J. Rosen.

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