A dog book.  A really great dog book.  Hard to find these days and boy I really miss 'em.  So, I'm with Joan Bauer on this one.  Her quote says, "I love this book. Banjo the dog will leap into our arms and fill up your heart."  Amen sister.  I am with you.  I'm not a teenaged boy. I have never roped a calf or a horse or anything else.  I don't live in the west on a ranch. None of that matters a hoot because it's really not about that.

Danny and Banjo are a team.  Danny is a twelve-year-old boy who is an up-and-coming roper.  Banjo is Danny's border collie.  The two understand each other really, really well because well, you know, the dog is so dang smart.

Then, the day comes when the neighboring rancher, Mr. Brodie, shows up at Danny's family's ranch with the news that Banjo killed some of Mr. Brodie's sheep the night before.  According to the law of the land, Banjo will have to be put down.  Put down.  Danny's dad, Ray, tells Mr. Brodie they will take care of it.  Then, Danny's dad agrees to let Danny be the one to kill the dog.  What do you do with that tough choice?

This is a story about the bonds between animals and people.  This is a story about how magnificent a dog can be.  This is a story about trust and honor and how life on a ranch with cattle and sheep and horses can ask a lot of a man, a woman, a guy or a girl.

Danny's been handed a tough choice and it may be one of the hardest things he ever has to do in his entire life.   Get out the tissue box now.  Banjo will get your heart from about page 7 on.... heck, pick a page and he'll have your heart.

Truly one of the best books I have read in a long, long time.

209 pages 978-0375842641 Ages 10 and up




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