"I crawled onto the bank and collapsed, exhausted. From the dirt, I looked up in amazement at four dogs staring down at me. Was I dreaming? Had I gone mad? It all seemed very real. 'You guys saved me!' I said, as I sat up in my dripping clothes. 'I owe you.'"
When disaster separates Gwen from her family, she must fend for herself, all alone in the wilderness. Luckily, she's not alone for long... When a wolf puppy, a Labrador, a Chihuahua, and a greyhound want to make friends, Gwen discovers talents she didn't know she possessed. It will take all her new skills and strength just to survive.
Does Gwen have what it takes to be leader of the pack?
I hadn't read anything by Anh Do yet, but given that I wasn't too interested in the other advance copies available at my bookshop, I thought I would give this one a try. The book dives right into the action, with Gwen being woken in the middle of the night by her mother, the family needs to evacuate and it is soon clear that homes are being bombed. Beyond that, we know nothing of the conflict happening. Soon enough Gwen is on her own and that's where the book becomes a bit more dubious in its believability. Gwen begins trying to find her family but soon enough just begins to try to survive, staying in the abandoned cars and learning how to hunt (disclaimer: don't give this to your child if they would be uncomfortable with the killing of various animals for food).
The books moves along at a good pace however it doesn't feel consistent with the amount of time the author says passes (the picture doesn't really match and she's far to clean to be a child surviving alone) and she and the hodgepodge of dogs mesh together far too quickly. The book is instead focusing on Gwen being the leader of the pack and living alone for four years. When she finally does meet another human it's all rather rushed, it does leave the book on a cliffhanger. Gwen has to grow up quickly, so that was believable enough and whilst the animal relationships seemed a bit quick it was a nice aspect to the book.
As an adult, there are too many little things here for me to nitpick at, which took away from enjoying it and it was a quick read. That being said... I can see my ten year old enjoying this when she gets her reading groove on.
Random listing from 'Books'...
Grandfather William drags Geronimo Stilton to a golf tournament, where Geronimo bumps into his friend Kornelius Von Kickpaw, a.k.a. Special Agent OOK.
Someone is plotting to steal the diamond-studded Super Mouse Cup, and it's up to Geronimo and Kornelius to crack the case.
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"I like to pick up hitchhikers. When they get in the car I say, "Put on your seat belt. I want to try something. I saw it once in a cartoon, but I think I can do it."