Monday, November 4, 2013

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Nobody's Dog

Today’s Pick: Nobody’s Dog by Ria Voros

From the Publisher:

For thirteen-year-old Jakob, the summer is looking pretty bleak. His only friend has moved away and no one else seems to have any time for him — except the girl who lives downstairs. But she's a little weird. Then again, so is Jakob. A few months ago, he was in a car accident that killed both his parents, and though he can't remember exactly what happened, he can't stop turning it over in his mind. No wonder people leave him alone.  

Then out of nowhere, a stray dog befriends Jakob. Together they begin to roam the city streets by night, discovering an exhilarating secret world where they can both taste a new kind of freedom. But as their nocturnal adventures take Jakob farther and farther away from the safety of home, the truth of that awful night begins to emerge.
Will he be strong enough to face it — and who will be there for him when he does?

My Take:

This was an emotional story filled with realistic characters. I could really connect with Jakob and how the dog helped him through his grief and sadness over losing his parents. I was rooting for Jakob to get through his difficulties and find out who he could care about and rely on. At the same time, I was glad that the book didn’t have a totally wrapped up ending with everything resolved. I had a sense that the characters live on and continue to work on their problems. I think both boys and girls would enjoy this book.

As a writer, I’d look at this novel again to see how the author created a strong first person voice for Jakob. Jakob's adventures with the dog kept the story from feeling too sad, but at the same time worked well to show how Jakob learned to deal with his feelings.

Opening Line:

“The car turns over three times. Hits the curb, goes up on its side like a stunt in a movie.”


“The dog trots back up the pier. I’ve never had so many questions for something that can’t answer me.”

“Suddenly the world seems like such an unfair place where everyone I care about ends up leaving.”

“I reach over and rub his ears and he grins at me. I’m connected to him in a way no one else is.”


Other Info:

Ria Voros lives in British Columbia in Canada. She decided she wanted to be a writer when she was little “because there wasn’t much else she liked to do as much as tell stories.”

According to Ria’s website, one of the best things about being a writer for her is: “Being inspired by new ideas for stories and seeing them come to life on the page.”

This book is nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading for 2014 in the Silver Birch (Fiction) category. 

Other Books by this Author Include:

The Opposite of Geek

For more info, visit Ria Voros’ 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 novels, Keeper of the Lost Cities and Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2).



  1. Interesting premise. Sounds like the author nailed the voice of the protagonist. I'll be adding this one to my "To Read" list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  2. I'm a total sucker for a dog story--because I love my own dog so fiercely.

  3. Great review. I like how you added bits and pieces of the book and author.

  4. I think MG books that managed to be entertaining while dealing with serious issues are all a must read. Thank you for the feature.



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