Author: Karen Hesse
Illustrator: Marcia Sewell
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Chapter Book
Rating: 5 paws
Synopsis: A scrawny dog wanders into the Marshall’s yard and into the heart of young Tate who has wanted always wanted a dog, but Mam is terrified of them. Tate struggles to be responsible and creatively manage the issues of her new friend. When the dog proves to have some common behavior problems, the parents find Sable a home far away. While Sable has obviously been starved and neglected in her life, no animals are irretrievably harmed in this book. It has a happy ending.
This is a rather predictable plot, but reads fresh in the capable words of the award winning Ms. Hesse. Her imagery is visual and vibrant as in this quote, “Sable smelled like dried leaves and dust and pine trees.”
The Trainer Reads: The dog acts very much as a strays do under the circumstances. She even mentions how at first Sable won't look her in the eyes. The mother is torn with the dilemma of a parent who was mauled as a child, but whose daughter needs to express her love for this silent innocent. It is heartwarming to read such a delightful account of the human animal bond. There is nothing like a kid well matched with a dog.