Title: Just a Dog
Author: Bauer, Michael Gerard
The classic underdog tale, Corey Ingram relates how from infancy and through childhood, his beloved pet Mr. Mosely has always been a member of the family. Mr. Mosely’s love for Corey, his mother and his father is matched only by the family’s love for their sweet mutt. Recommended for grades 3rd-5th, the end pages suggest Just a Dog would be for grades 4th – 7th but its unlikely older teens will gravitate to such a charming story. Described down the last spot, Mr. Mosely is a gentle giant more scared of storms and cats. At the fair the dog not only wins the prizes for Biggest and Friendliest, but he also earns his kibble by saving Ingram from an ill intentioned couple who wanted to kidnap the boy.
The story is predictably sad as most dog tend to be, Mr. Mosely survives being hit by a car only to succumb to bone cancer later. It’s a tame book for younger readers and would be a good way to help elementary school students learn to grieve for a pet. No reservations for any content, there is some
mild violence when Corey’s dad and his Uncle Gavin have a fight which results in a bloody nose for Uncle Gavin. It was funny that when the grownups yell at each other it says they use ‘swearwords’ but actual curses are never used.
Reviewer: Laura C Perenic
School/Public Library: Middletown Public Library