Secondhand Dogs by Carolyn Crimi
copy for review; all opinions are my own
Secondhand Dogs is a middle grade novel about a group of dogs that all live together at Miss Lottie’s. They’re “secondhand” because they used to live elsewhere, and for various reasons, they have all ended up at Miss Lottie’s house – becoming a family or pack. That is until a big dog named Decker joins them and it’s obvious he’s trying to become pack leader and push the rest of the animals out.
While it was a bit of a slow start, I did really enjoy this one, and I thought I’d share some quick bullet points to give my thoughts:
- Each dog got their own third-person POV chapter, which I liked, because it really let you know more about them and their personality.
- A neighborhood boy named Quinn, who helps with the dogs, gets a lot of POV chapters too. I really loved Quinn. It was obvious he was hurting, and I really appreciated the idea of animals being family.
- While I was not a fan of Decker, I did feel bad for him as the book went on and you learn more about his past circumstances.
- The other dogs that were already living at the house are Gus, Tank, Roo, and Moon Pie. They were all very different, with various personality traits. I think Gus was my favorite though. He just wanted everyone to get along and be safe.
- There are various chapters that show you the dogs, Quinn, and Miss Lottie “before” which I liked because it gives you perspective on the type of people they are now and why that may be.
- I think middle school readers would enjoy this one, especially those with animals – even a pet cat, because there is a cat named Ghost, and he has some chapters too!
- I adore the book’s cover. I think all the animals are depicted really well and I’m sure some kids will enjoy pointing out who is who once they’ve read the book.
- Melissa Manwill has some really cute black and white illustrations for each character and those were done really well!
All in all, a pretty good read! There’s some emotion, some suspense, and a whole lot of animal love!
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