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The dog who lost his bark
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A warm, uplifting story about a boy, his dog, and the healing power of music marks a first-time collaboration between two former Irish Children's Laureates, Eoin Colfer and P.J. Lynch.

Patrick has been desperate for a dog of his own for as long as he can remember, and this summer, with his father away, he longs for a canine friend more than ever. Meanwhile, in his short doggy life, Oz has suffered at the hands of bad people. Somewhere out there, he believes, is an awesome boy -- his boy. And maybe, when they find each other, Oz will learn to bark again. Illustrated in light charcoal by two-time Kate Greenaway Medalist P.J. Lynch, this heartwarming story by Eoin Colfer, internationally best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, is certain to enchant.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 2--4--Early traumas--being sold by an abusive man and then adopted and abandoned by a cruel family--have taught Dog to be wary of humans. To Dog, to bark is to risk punishment, starvation, and abandonment. When Patrick, a young boy heading toward impending parental separation, adopts Dog and names him Oz, he promises to do whatever it takes to help Oz find his bark again. Through the power of music and love, Oz does indeed find his voice. But can Oz do the same for his beloved Patrick when the boy learns the truth about his dad's absence? Alternating between dog and boy perspectives and always written in third person, this heartwarming story unfolds in short vignettes augmented by soft pencil illustrations. Oz's voice is easily distinguished by the use of all capitals to designate important people, actions, and things, such as the "LOUD MAN" and "OUTSIDE." Although this writing device is overused, it serves to communicate Oz's thoughts and feelings. Patrick's parents' separation is revealed gradually, allowing readers to empathize with his reaction when he learns the truth. The authentic portrayal of parents as flawed, yet loving, rings true. Frequent illustrations, ranging from spot art to full-page spreads, create a realistic, modern, yet nostalgic setting using shading and precise linework. Despite Oz's traumatic puppy years, the ending is appropriately happy for the target age range. VERDICT A cozy chapter book to read aloud to animal lovers, this story will find a place in most public and school libraries.--Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library
Booklist Review
Dog lives with his mother and siblings until Loud Man sells him. His next owners mistreat him, punish him for barking, and abandon him. Meanwhile, Patrick's mother tells him that his father won't be joining them at Grandad's home this summer and asks if he would like to have a dog. The boy realizes that something's up, but he's always wanted a dog. At the shelter, he chooses Dog, names him Oz, and devotes his summer to helping him learn to trust and to bark. Later, Mom reveals that Dad has left the family, and Patrick is distraught. Now it's Dog's turn to help his friend heal. As the third-person narrative shifts between the boy's point of view and his dog's, readers will find both compelling. Colfer and Lynch have served as Irish Children's Laureates. Lynch's softly shaded pencil drawings capture the characters' emotions and the story's tone beautifully. Best known for the Artemis Fowl series, Colfer offers a simply written, realistic tale with plenty of human interest. Dog-lovers will find the jacket illustration irresistible.--Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2010 Booklist
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