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A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray Paperback – 1 Jan 2007

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Review

PW 8/22/05**STARRED**********
Martin's (A Corner of the Universe ) winsome novel, written from a canine's point of view, is sure to melt the hearts of animal lovers, as she traces the dog days of a stray named Squirrel from birth to old age. The pooch spends his first few months safe and warm inside a shed. She first ventures out into the larger, more threatening world after her mother disappears and brother Bone decides it is time to explore the woods. From then on, life becomes a battle of survival for Squirrel, scrounging for food, avoiding busy streets and remaining wary of humans who may or may not be friendly. During her life, Squirrel gets separated from her brother, finds and loses a canine companion named Moon, and stumbles upon a handful of temporary owners who do not always prove to be loyal. Besides offering a glimpse of how strays learn to fend for themselves, this saga of a lonely dog delivers a subtle but strong message to potential dog owners, conveying the negative effects of neglecting, ditching or abusing a pet. After following Squirrel's harrowing encounters with freezing temperatures, dangerous enemies and near starvation, readers will utter a sigh of relief when she finds a human who needs Squirrel as much as Squirrel needs her. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)

Kirkus 9/1/05
A DOG'S LIFE
The Autobiography of a Stray
Following the tradition of other realistic animal stories, this moving account of a stray dog's life experiences is told from the canine perspective. Born in a garden shed, Squirrel and her brother Bone are raised by their mother, who teaches them to hunt and avoid humans. Life is good for the puppies until their mother disappears and doesn't return. When the adventurous Bone sets out into the world, Squirrel follows, afraid to be on her own. But along a busy highway, the puppies are soon separated forever and Squirrel is alone. She manages to survive winter and finds Moon, another stray. The two travel together, raiding garbage cans, eluding dogcatchers and fighting off a band of hungry dogs until Moon is killed by a truck. Alone again, Squirrel stoically moves from town to town, encountering both kind and cruel humans, and aging as the seasons pass. Speaking matter-of-factly, Squirrel accepts life bravely and in the end, finds the loving home she deserves. Heart-wrenching as well as heart- warming. (Fiction. 10-14)

About the Author

Ann M. Martin's The Baby-Sitters Club series sold over 176 million copies and inspired a generation of young readers. Her novels include the Main Street series, Belle Teal, the Newbery Honor book A Corner of the Universe, Here Today, A Dog's Life, and On Christmas Eve, as well as the much-loved collaborations P.S, Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More with Paula Danziger, and The Doll People and The Meanest Doll In The World, written with Laura Godwin and illustrated by Brian Selznick. She lives in upstate New York.

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Product details

  • Reading level: 8 - 12 years
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (1 January 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439717000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439717007
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,05,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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8 July 2014
Format: Paperback

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 317 reviews
jcc
5.0 out of 5 starsIt's not "just a dog."
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Elaine Mosher
5.0 out of 5 starsMy favorite dog book.
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4 people found this helpful.
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5.0 out of 5 starsRealistic
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Dorothy Bickar
5.0 out of 5 starsHear Rending story
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4.0 out of 5 starsA Good Story
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