By Valerie Hobbs
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374367770, 128pp.)
Publication Date: March 21, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The sheep closed in around him like a big, woolly blanket. The
puppy had never been so scared or so excited in his life. Soon
he was racing, feinting, dodging - learning what it means to be
one of the proud breed of Border collies, the finest sheepherders
in the world. Then, almost overnight, his life is turned upside
down. He finds himself in a series of strange places, with no
sheep, his family gone. With nothing but the courage he was
born with and a dream, he searches for the life he once knew,
gathering names and adventures as he goes. For a short time,
he's called Blackie. To the Goat Man, he's Shep. To Hollerin,
he's Spot. There's one name that threatens to forever haunt
him - Sparky, the name Billy the circus man calls him when he
reaches for the whip. But there's another name that he is given,
one that finally makes him feel at home . . .
Known for her rich character development, the author brings
all her skills to delving into the mind of a clever, philosophical,
and hopeful dog searching for a home.
Valerie Hobbs is the recipient of the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein Award, a biennial prize that recognizes "an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of children's fiction." She is the author of young adult and middle-grade novels including Defiance, Anything but Ordinary, and The Last Best Days of Summer. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she has taught academic writing. Valerie lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband.
"The classic foundling story is beautifully told in the dog's simple, first-person voice." --Booklist "Believable and satisfying. It's a winner." --School Library Journal "The attitude that carries Jack through adventure after adventure. . . will win readers over and keep them rooting for him all the way." --Kirkus Reviews "Hobbs portrays the ups and downs of life both humorously and sensitively as seen and felt by a very special border collie; a story that young readers will remember as a journey of the heart." --Signal