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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches kids important lessons about overcoming adversity and persevering in the face of challenges. It also teaches the value of love between a human and a pet and the folly of revenge and ideals of perfection.
Positive Role Models
Heidy has a bit of a rebellious streak and is expelled from the St. Egregious Home for Troubled Girls for rigging the nuns’ toilets to flush in reverse. But she saves/steals a daschund named Sam whose owner only used him for his purebred status. Sam decides to take revenge on another dog and tries to rig a dog show but comes to his senses in the end.
Violence & Scariness
Some chase scenes and a couple of dog fights where a dog admits wanting to kill his enemy. Sam’s leg is caught in a bear trap, he is hit by a car, and he is also shot. Dogs chase and tear the clothing off of a woman twice. There is a scene where it appears that a baby is in danger. Heidy is an orphan and says her parents were "eaten by schnauzers."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this endearing book has some scenes that might be tough for sensitive readers to take. A dog is shot, hit by a car, loses his leg in a bear trap, and is separated from his owner. There are several exciting chases and dog fight scenes, but the violence is tempered with humor and sweetness. There is also a scene involving people betting on a dog fight.
Is It Any Good?
FLAWED DOGS is hilarious and sweet with a message of friendship and faithfulness that anyone (even cat lovers) will find uplifting. Each animal in the book is an unforgettable character, drawn and written with Berkeley Breathed’s signature brand of wit. His illustrations add an extra measure of emotion to the already lovely book.
Berkeley Breathed's illustrations are amazing and they impart the message of the story with humor and poignancy.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.