Monday, April 7, 2014

A dog called homeless by Sarah Lean

The past year has been a difficult time for Cally Fisher and her family - a year ago her mother was killed in a car accident and her family life has slowly been falling to pieces ever since.  Her father is quiet and preoccupied and not interested in celebrating his birthday because it is the anniversary of the car accident - and her brother is more interested in playing computer games in his room than spending time with his sister.  At school Cally gets into trouble because she can't stop her mind from wandering, and even her best friend is drifting away from her.  Then she face a challenge that no one thinks she can complete - staying completely silent for an entire school day to raise funds for charity.

Not only does Cally stay silent for the entire day - she remains silent for days afterwards.  At first everyone thinks it is a cry for attention, but there is much more to her silence than wanting attention.  Cally can see her mother, and everyone else is telling her she is wrong and that she should be quiet - so she stays quiet.  The only other person who seems to see her mother is a giant gray dog that appears to be called Homeless.  As her relationship with her father, brother, friends, and teachers changes Cally learns more about herself and the world around her.

A dog called Homeless is a touching and emotional story about self discovery and coming to terms with the loss of a parent.  Cally is a sensitive young girl who is dealing with a lot of issues at once, and she is not too different from the hundreds of children each day who have to deal with the loss of a parent.  There are undercurrents of loss, love, friendship  self-discovery, and healing, all woven together around a simple yet touching story that may help younger readers deal with the loss of their parent.  Sarah Lean has a deft touch and makes you forget everything else as you join Cally on her journey through loss and the beginning of her journey of healing.

If you like this book then try:
  • A hundred horses by Sarah Lean
  • Defiance by Valerie Hobbs
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Wenny has wings by Janet Lee Carey

Reviewed by Brilla

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