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A boy and his dog at the end of the world
2019
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Summary
"This unputdownable story has everything--a well-imagined post-apocalyptic world, great characters, incredible suspense, and, of course, the fierce love of some very good dogs."-- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts.
My name's Griz. My childhood wasn't like yours. I've never had friends, and in my whole life I've not met enough people to play a game of football.
My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.
Because if we aren't loyal to the things we love, what's the point?
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Since the Gelding rendered most humans infertile, the global population has dwindled to a mere few thousand. Griz has never had neighbors or been in a crowd, though he and siblings Ferg and Bar are familiar with the concepts from photographs, homeschooling, and handed-down stories. Griz directly addresses readers about his family, his dreams, and life on an island, somewhere near what might have once been England. "In my whole life, I haven't met enough people to make up two teams for a game of football," says Griz, who scavenges and explores on land and sea. When a stranger steals Jess, one of Griz's beloved dogs, what's to be done but go after them? Griz is comfortable taking care of himself, though he is grateful to encounter John Dark, who speaks a different language and helps Griz after a nasty encounter with a boar. Action builds as Griz closes in on Jess, the stranger, and other "Baby Bust" survivors. While not as tightly crafted as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, this tale may gain traction with similar readers. Griz's casual acceptance of a depopulated world makes the plot believable, though the pacing early on may feel slow to some readers. VERDICT For high school -libraries seeking independent teen heroes in dystopian settings.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Fletcher's first novel follows Griz, one of the few survivors in a world where the mysterious Gelding dramatically reduced the world's population. Griz's idyllic island life with his family is disturbed after Brand, a charming drifter who arrives by red-sailed boat, visits them and provides them with an evening of stories and rare treats from across the ocean. The next morning, Griz awakens to discover Brand has stolen Jess, one of their beloved pets and one of the increasingly rare female dogs. Griz, along with the family's other dog, Jip, go on a quest that takes them into the mainland of the now deserted world, where they face challenges ranging from wild animals and fever to the well-founded suspicions of other surviving wanderers, such as a Frenchwoman Griz refers to as John Dark. Along the way, more is revealed about this depopulated world, about Brand's origins, and even about Griz himself. Fletcher's narrative, while light on world-building, has a propulsive and engaging rhythm and should please fans of postapocalyptic dystopias, young adult and adult alike.--Nell Keep Copyright 2019 Booklist
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