Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Lost dog and lost girl save each other in heartfelt story.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Barbara O'Connor presents the heartwarming, feisty, funny tale of a girl and a dog who both need saving and find their way to each other and a loving family in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. Eleven-year-old narrator Charlie (cursed with the name Charlemagne from birth, and also with troubled, negligent parents) is relentless in her hope for whatever she's wishing for. She's relatable as she experiences a loving family for the first time--and also as she sabotages it by saying something mean for no reason. Fortunately, the neighbor kid seems determined to stay friends with her. Also she's found a kindred spirit:

"'I think that dog would rather be a stray,' he said.

"But I knew better. I knew what it felt like to be a stray, not having.a home where somebody wanted you. And he was a fighter. Like me. That dog and I had a lot in common. I was suddenly overwhelmed with love for that skinny dog."

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