Marvelous Middle Grade: A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean
My name is Cally Louise Fisher and I haven’t spoken for thirty-one days.
Cally lost her mother in a tragic accident, and on the year anniversary of her death, Cally is missing her mother dearly. So she is thrilled to see her, plain as day, standing in the graveyard when she and her father and brother go to visit her grave. Cally’s father and brother don’t believe she is truly seeing her mother. They retreat into a grief and denial, never speaking of her, admonishing Callie when she insists they keep her memory alive by talking about her.
When Callie participates in a sponsored day of silence for charity, she decides to continue the silence, not speaking aloud again at home or in school. Callie finds it easiest to avoid speaking aloud when she meets two new friends—a stray wolfhound who seems to show up right as her mother’s image appears around town, and a partially blind and deaf neighbor boy, who communicates by hand signs.
A Dog Called Homeless is a heartwarming, beautiful story about love, family, friendship, and the power words, and sometimes a lack of words, can have in our lives. I love stories about loss and grief that force you to appreciate the vibrant, life-filled world around you, and to cherish your relationships.
A Dog Called Homeless reminds me of another recent UK based story of grief and family that I loved like a long-lost book soul mate, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. These books are relatable, entertaining looks into broken, grief-stricken families, and hopeful young children who persevere where adults cannot. Both are wonderful, must-read middle grades.
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