Review Detail

Kids Fiction 135
Beware of flash floods!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Dylan is looking forward to a boring time of it in San Antonio, Texas, since he really doesn't want to hang out with his best friend, Jaxon, anymore. Even though they've been friends forever, Jaxon has started to do risky things like throw water balloons at cars, and Dylan doesn't want to get involved. His dad is deployed, and he doesn't want to add to his mother's stress. When he finds a stray dog in need of help, however, he brings the dog home. The first thing Brave does is to chew up his mother's new couch, but when they take the dog to a shelter, they find that it is at capacity due to a recent hurricane. Dylan fosters the dog, but has to try to train him. Luckily, he comes across a classmate who lives on a nearby farm (whose name I can't remember, and my e reader isn't working again), and she offers to help train him if Dylan helps her clean up the hurricane debris. Dylan enjoys both working and training the dog, and has to find the courage to sit with his new friend and stay away from Jaxon. He also has to convince his mother that Brave is a dog that they should keep, despite his energy.
Good Points
This was just about perfect for a middle grade novel. Kids doing things, realistic problems, lots of action. I also enjoyed the friend drama, which we don't see nearly often enough with boys. The covers alone will sell these books, but the stories are brilliantly constructed and a joy to read. The information about particular breeds of dogs is fascinating as well.

If you read dog books twenty or thirty years ago and remember that all the dogs in books usually die, never fear! There's definitely been a reversal of trend on this one, and rest assured that Brave survives!

Shotz does the best books about dogs that have adventures, like Hero, Max, and Scout: Firefighter, so I can't wait for the next two books in the American Dog Series, Star and Chestnut, which come out October 6th 2020.
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