Whatever you do, don't tell Wallace Wallace about this book. Maybe don't even bring this book up around Gordon Korman. Yes, this is one of those books where the dog dies. But what makes this one different is we don't get to know the dog and fall in love with the dog and then sob into our hankies when the dog dies. Nope. This time the dog is dead from page one. Yep, this time the damage is done. The doggie is gone. It's over. You think you're safe because heck, what can possibly happen to the dog now that he's died and gone to a pre-Heaven zone. Well, think back for a minute. Who wrote this book. Oh yeah. Dan Gemeinhart. He of The Honest Truth..you remember, the one where the boy is dying of cancer and he goes up into the mountains with his dog... to die? Right...that guy. We could be in Hankytown.
Yes, boys and girls we are definitely in Hankytown. Just get the hanky now and do yourself a favor. Let me 'splain it to ya.
A boy and his dog. "Me. Him. Together. Always." Those are the words they live by. No matter what happens to the boy or the dog, they have each other and that means they can take whatever comes their way. In this case, the boy, Aiden, has a lot coming his way by way of his father, a drunken bully, who abuses his child mentally and physically and eventually takes his rage out on the dog, Brodie. One day Brodie wakes up in a new place without Aiden. Brodie looks around what could be the ultimate dog park and slowly realizes he has gone on to greener pastures. He meets Tuck and watches as another dog dematerializes and moves on to dog heaven. Then, Brodie starts to remember. He knows he has left something or someone behind and in danger. He knows he has to go back for his boy.
This story follows two good dogs and a cat back into the harsh world they left and straight to a pack of bad dogs, an angry dangerous father and the possibility of losing their most precious thing...their souls. This story opens up big questions. What is the power of a soul? What would you do with yours? Would you give all you've got, giving and caring more than you ever imagined possible, for someone you loved?
Heartbreaking, poignant, putting us in touch with our real selves, this is a story of loyalty, joy, betrayal, dangerous parents, trust and the choice we all have to decide how to use our own souls. Utterly profound. Welcome to Hankytown.
304 pages 978-1338053883 Ages 8-12
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Brodie was a good dog. And good dogs go to heaven.
Except Brodie can't move on. Not just yet. As wonderful as his glimpse of the afterlife is, he can't forget the boy he left behind. The boy he loved, and who loved him in return.
The boy who's still in danger.
So Brodie breaks the rules of heaven. He returns to Earth as a spirit. With the help of two other lost souls -- lovable pitbull Tuck and surly housecat Patsy -- he is determined to find his boy and to save him.
Even if it costs him paradise. Even if he loses his eternal soul.
Because it's what a good dog would do.---from the publisher