Poppy (American Dog)
April 07, 2020
Poppy is a dog with a problem. She has too much energy, and her elderly owner can keep her only if she can be trained. When twelve-year-old Hannah moves to the coast of Northern California, she thinks she can help turn this rambunctious puppy into the good dog she knows Poppy is. But Hannah realizes Poppy’s reputation as a pit bull means she has to work even harder to prove that Poppy and dogs like her deserve a second chance. Will Hannah train Poppy into the perfect dog before it’s too late?
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This was a fantastic middle grade novel. It was just the right length, had great characters, lots of action and adventure, and a compelling dog! I loved that her family was intact but very busy. Poppy's exploits are the real draw here, and Shotz's work is very popular in my library. There look to be four of these books so far, all stand alones! So excited for these!
I can't think of any other books with a character with a noticeable birthmark, and Hannah's self consciousness was treated just right. It's not the central focus of the plot, but is used skillfully when Poppy is discriminated against because she is a pit bull. Hannah understands very well what it is like to be judged on appearances.
Readers who enjoy books about dogs and dog training like Tubb's A Dog Like Daisy, London's Strays, or Patent's nonfiction Dogs on Duty will enjoy reading about Hannah's difficulties in getting Poppy trained in order to be a companion dog, and may even be encouraged to get their own dog to be better behaved.
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