Monday, September 23, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: A Dog Called Homeless

Today’s Pick: A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

Published by Katherine Tegen Books, 2012

From Amazon:

Praised by Newbery Medal–winning author Katherine Applegate as "graceful" and "miraculous," this Schneider Family Book Award–winning novel tells how one girl's friendship with a homeless dog mends a family's heart.

Cally Fisher knows she can see her dead mother, but the only other living soul who does is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears. How can Cally convince anyone that her mom is still with the family, or persuade her dad that the huge silver-gray dog belongs with them?

With beautiful, spare writing and adorable animals, A Dog Called Homeless is perfect for readers of favorite middle-grade novels starring dogs, such as Because of Winn-Dixie and Shiloh.

My Take:

I really enjoyed this story, partly because I love stories with dogs in them. But this was much more than just a dog story. This story is about a girl learning to cope with the loss of her mother, trying to hold her family together, and finding her own voice. I loved the friendships Cally made with Jed, a homeless man, and Sam, a boy who is deaf and blind. I will definitely look for more books by this author! I read this one as an e-book from my local library.

I loved the way the author painted images with her words that connected to the feelings she created in the story. This was another story where every word counts.

Opening Line:

“Dad’s birthday, and I got up before anyone.”

Favourite quotes:

“Sometimes you just have to prove people wrong. Sometimes you just want someone to believe you’re more than they think you are.”

“Homeless smelled like a toy rabbit I had when I was little. I laid my head on him, forgot about the time.”

“I already knew then that Sam didn’t see things like we do, that the reason he leaned so close was that that was how the world talked to him—through his skin.”

Other Info:

Sarah Lean lives in Dorset in England with her family and dogs. She started writing when she was around ten years old, but she became a teacher before she started her writing career.

A Dog Called Homeless is her first published novel. On her website, Sarah Lean says, “Inspiration is everywhere, just like stories. For me, the key is to just look, just listen, wherever I am.”

She has this advice for writers: “Expect to get it wrong, again and again. Practice is paramount, expect to learn, love learning.

Other Books by this Author:

The Forever Whale

A Horse for Angel

For more info, visit Sarah Lean’s website.

You can find more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday books by checking out Shannon Messenger’s blog! Shannon is the founder of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and the author of the middle grade novel, Keeper of the Lost Cities.


  1. I adored this book, for all the same reasons you did.

  2. I've been wanting to read this--and I hate the way books fall off my radar once they've been out for a while and I haven't picked them up. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I loved this book. Loved how it all came together so beautifully in the end. Good choice, Andrea.

  4. Because of this great post--I have got to read this book!

  5. This looks really good. Must get. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This sounds like a wonderful book. Going on the to-read list!

  7. Okay, this is really funny! I was just going to add to my goodreads to-read list and it is already there! I thought it sounded a bit familiar. :)


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).