Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen

Finn is a quiet guy. He is most comfortable by himself simply reading a book. He's used to this life, as his father has been in college or grad school all of his life and his mom is long gone. He has one of the coolest dogs ever named Dylan. His friend Matthew is living with them during the summer as his parents go through a divorce. Finn's plans for this summer is to speak to less of a dozen people all summer. That's the way he likes it.

But Johanna, a graduate student that moves in next door, changes all that. Johanna has cancer and a very social, bubbly personality. Johanna quickly pulls Finn and Matthew into her world and challenges Finn to create a garden in his backyard. Together they research and Finn is given a thick notebook with directions on how to create a garden..which he works on daily.

Meanwhile, Johanna continues to endure cancer treatments and trains for a triathlon supporting breast cancer research. The boys make it their project to help Johanna to raise funds for towards her goal. Somehow, Johanna pulls together a family and a community...and changes more lives than she even knows.

What I Thought:
This is one of those books that you want to shove into every hand you see. Finn, who starts the book so reserved and quiet, ends the book simply a different person.

Johanna, a brave woman battling breast cancer is a character that sweeps in and makes everyone see what is truly important, healing relationships and creating families throughout the story.

This book is simply uplifting and a wonderful breath of fresh air. It is a great read aloud; it isn't very long, and not only shows a great deal of character transformation, but also gives a small glimpse into the world of a person battling cancer.

This is a must read.

Very highly recommended.

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen.

Reviewed from a library copy.

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