Parents' Guide to

The Puppy Sister

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Joyous story about the power of family love.

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Hinton, known for her powerful looks at the rougher aspects of teenage society, has changed her perspective: Her first novel for middle-grade readers is an effervescent delight. In simple, easy-to-read language she tells a funny and involving story -- yet her theme is a serious one, of the transformative power of the love of one's family. And in this oddball fantasy, she keeps Nick and Aleasha's relationship so realistic that children recognize it right away.

The essence of this laugh-out-loud, enchanting book is captured in the black-and-white illustrations by Jacqueline Rogers. She shows Aleasha's transformation in a style that radiates both humor and warmth. The front and back covers, showing Nick and Aleasha dancing together for sheer joy, sum up the spirit of this hilarious, subtly poignant story of family love. Easy to read but appealing to all ages, it is perfect for young readers and makes a surefire family read-aloud.

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