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Dog Gone by Cynthia Chapman Willis
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This is a good story with lots of reasons to have a kleenex nearby. Dealing with the death of her mother and blaming her dad, Dill bonds with a dog.
Nice dialogue, fits the southern setting. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 27, 2013 |
This book tries quite hard to tell the story of Dill, Dylan who is recovering from her mother's recent death from cancer with her father and grandfather. Things are complicated as the dog, Dead End that her mother adopted is suspected of being part of a pack of dogs that are attacking livestock. Dill spends most of the book focused on Dead End as a way to try and fix things without really dealing with them. Some parts of this book are well done, the dialogue and relationships between the characters ring true but the narration in Dill's voice suffers from too much folksiness. Clearly the author is trying to capture the sound and spirit of rural Virginia but all the folksy metaphors actually get in the way of a sweet story of a family.

This book would be a quick read for a nine to twelve year old and girls interested in horses will connect to Dill's love of them and all animals. The grief is dealt with in an honest manner and little detail is gone into about the hard journey of cancer, which would make this a possible read for a younger reader. Overall this is a sweet book that gets in its own way by trying too hard to use rural slightly folksy language and instead veers almost into twee. ( )
  katekf | Dec 3, 2009 |
The book moved slowly for me. It was hard for me to feel sympathetic (in the beginning) with Dill. Her denial of her mother's death was frustrating yet very believable. Dill's loyalty to Dead End was noble and a desperate attempt to keep something of her mother alive. Having lost my own mother recently, I could understand her feeling of loss and wanting to keep things the way they had been. Once she was forced to accept her mom's death, it seemed that she could begin to move on and her new puppy plus the reconnecting with her father were reasons to keep on trying. The characters were real and believable, the author did a good job in sketching them for the reader. Getting past the slow beginning was worth the effort, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book. ( )
  hewayzha | May 24, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031256113X, Paperback)

    I never understood this before, but these days I hardly get through breakfast without thinking about running, like Dead End, from the think and sticky sadness that stains every inch of our home.
    “Dead End does have a mind of his own,” Cub says low.
    “That doesn’t make him a bad dog,” I snap. “Maybe it makes him a smart dog.”

Twelve-year-old Dill is desperately trying to keep her family from falling apart. Her father is always at work, her mother is gone, and their dog, Dead End, seems to be here one moment and missing the next. And big trouble is brewing. A wild pack of dogs is destroying local livestock and property, and the sheriff has ordered them to be shot. Is this where Dead End has been disappearing to? How far will Dill and her best friend Cub go to uncover the truth, and hold together the last strands of a family that seems to be unraveling?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Dill refuses to deal with the recent death of her mother until her dog starts running with a pack that is suspected of killing livestock on neighboring farms, and Dill's beloved grandfather becomes so sick that he needs to go the the hospital just like her mother did.… (more)

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