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5 Amazing Novels for Young Dog Lovers

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The Children’s Book Review

If you consider yourself a doggo, pupper, floof, woofer, or dog lover (or just somebody who loves a good animal story), it’s time to sit and stay awhile—pun intended! We can’t say enough about this list of middle-grade novels that tell the stories of rescue dogs, a service dog, a street dog, and seven rambunctious puppies. These heartening stories showcase unbreakable bonds, as well as the love and teamwork that can take place between a child and their pet. Whether read aloud to an adorable, wet-nosed pet or read while snuggling up with a favorite dog stuffy, these books are all uniquely inspiring and sure to fill the hearts of many young readers!

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs

Written by Leslie Connor

This middle-grade novel reaches deep and successfully pulls on the heartstrings. Award-winning author Leslie Connor’s new novel, A Home for Goddesses and Dogs, is the story of an eighth-grader who has recently lost her mother and is working through her grief with the support of her aunt and the help of a rascally rescue dog. Both art and pet therapy are interwoven throughout and showcased as prevalent coping mechanisms. Dog lovers, those grieving, those who know someone who is grieving, and any young goddesses that love an excellent realistic story will find comfort in the way that Lydia processes her pain. This novel will surely be a big and important story when it reaches the children who need it most. Read our complete review »

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Ages 10+ | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | February 25, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-0062796783 

Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovernChester and Gus

Written by Cammie McGovern

If you’re looking for a middle-grade novel that is both heartwarming and humorous, try this story about an aspiring service dog and an autistic boy in need of a friend. Written by critically acclaimed author Cammie McGovern, Chester and Gus is a beautiful exploration of friendship and embracing differences, that will open readers’ eyes to the extraordinary and fierce loyalty dogs can have for their human family.

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | April 4, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0062330680

Love That Dog

Written by Sharon Creech

Written as a series of free-verse poems by Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech, Love That Dog dispels the myth that boys don’t write poetry. Jack is not keen on taking on the poetry writing assignments at school, but through the works of great poets and a yellow dog, he soon discovers the beauty, creativity, and power of words, and discovers his own unique voice.

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | July 24, 2001 | ISBN-13: 978-0060292874

Dog Days in the City

Written by Jodi Kendell

Any puppy fans out there? In this sequel to The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, twelve-year-old Josie is trying to find forever homes for seven young foster puppies that showed up in a box at the animal clinic where she volunteers. Animal welfare, family, friendships, and coming-of-age are the overarching themes in this heartfelt book perfect for animal lovers!

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | October 2, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062484567


Written by Bobbie Pyron

Due to life circumstances, Piper’s family finds themselves homeless. After moving into a shelter, Piper is struggling with being labeled as homeless. Through new friendships and the goal to reconnect a street dog with his elderly owner, Piper discovers the true meaning of home. Stay is a heartwarming tale packed with mystery, suspense, and hope.

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | August 13, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0062839220

The article 5 Amazing Novels for Young Dog Lovers was curated by The Children’s Book Review and sponsored by HarperCollins. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with , , , , and .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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