Select one of the keywords
The Friskative Dog    by Susan Straight order for
Friskative Dog
by Susan Straight
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2007 (2007)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Sharron has carried around a toy puppy everywhere she goes, ever since her first Christmas. She loves the labrador retriever look-alike, with its own leash and identification collar. They converse and snuggle at bedtime, he rides in her backpack with the zipper left open so that he can breath and see out. At other times Sharron puts him on the ground and he travels by her side. At the apartment house pool, he likes to float along beside her. Her parents named him the Friskative Dog, since Sharron was a frisky, active tyke.

Now in fourth grade, Sharron holds Friskative Dog even tighter since dad left - he set off a year before on one of his regular truck drives to Atlanta but never came back. At Show and Tell, when Sharron presents Friskative to the class, some laugh but her buddies support her. When students ask Sharron what her dog eats, she tells them love (can't beat that for an answer!) When Sharron and Friskative are in her bedroom doing homework, they hear mom talking on the phone with her support team - Aunt Dickie, Grandma Pat, and friend Leila. Grandma suggests that dad has insomnia, but Sharron knows that she means amnesia. Sharron also knows that people can't find their way home as well as dogs can.

One afternoon after school while waiting for her mom at the food store, Sharron encounters Mrs. Rumer, who trains seeing-guide dogs and tells Sharron all about it. When the teacher assigns career-path homework, Sharron ponders the many ways to work with animals. However, after meeting Mrs. Rumer, Sharron begins to reads books like Dog Breeds of the World, learning the meaning of patience. One day Sharron sneaks Friskative to school in her backpack. Hours later she meets Mrs. Rume, and reaches within the backpack to show her dog's new identification collar. But Friskative Dog is not there!

Susan Straight's adult novels include I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots and Highwire Moon. The Friskative Dog, her debut for young readers is about a family in transition, coping with loss and change, holding on to hope, and especially being yourself. Her writing style is easy-breezy in flow and storyline, just right for chapter book youngsters.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews