I’m working my way through Dan Gemeinhart’s books and when I saw the cover of this book, my initial thought was that this would be an emotional, sweet story yet the synopsis told me something different. Even after reading the synopsis, I wasn’t prepared for what I read.
This was an emotional story about the love between a dog named Brodie and his boy. I liked how Dan wrote the story from the dog’s point of view. Like many people, I always talk to animals like they understand every word I say, and in Good Dog, the animals converse like humans.
When Brodie awakens, words engulfed his mind. He knew precisely what each word meant, yet he sensed that something was missing. Brodie didn’t know where he was, but he felt that this place where he was, was perfect. This was a dog’s paradise. Sasha, another dog, explains to Brodie that he’s dead, that he used to have a life and knew people, and soon his memories would come and he would remember what his life was like before arriving there.
Brodie mind is soon flooded with words, memories and emotions as his previous life starts to come back to him. Suddenly, that emptiness that Brodie had been feeling is filled. A memory washes over Brodie and motivates him to leave his dog paradise and return to his boy.
Brodie is determined to return to his boy. To do so, he pays a price. Returning to the human world, I had a hard time believing that this is a children’s book. I liked the idea behind what happens but the details to make that happen, I thought were intense and alarming on a children’s level. Perhaps on a middle school or YA level, they would be okay but not on a children’s level.
I liked Brodie’s commitment to his boy and the friendships that he made. He had quite the journey. There were moments that I found myself laughing, on-edge, and then, I had tears at 4 am this morning, it was an emotional story. I enjoyed the author’s creativity and how the story ended. There were a couple parts in the story, I was reluctant to read every word. I skipped a few paragraphs.
I don’t think this is really a children’s book. The violent description of the dog fighting is why I’m not giving it 5 stars. The violence is rather descriptive for my taste in children’s book. I liked the idea of the story; it was very creative.
“All this stuff (room full of books, old toys, video game system). And the only thing the boy asked for was this picture of him and his dog.”