Friday, September 17, 2021

Sit. Stay. Read!

Secondhand Dogs 
by Carolyn Crimi 
256 pages; ages 8-12  
Balzer + Bray, 2021
By now you know I am a sucker for dog stories. And especially if they are about rescue dogs and the people who love them. And doubly especially if they are told from the dogs’ points of view.

Gus, Roo, Tank, and Moon Pie live with Miss Lottie and her cat, Ghost. Together with Quinn, the kid down the street who helps Miss Lottie, they make up a pack. At least that’s how Gus thinks of his adopted family. But when Miss Lottie brings a new member into the group, Gus – already insecure about being a “good enough” leader – is hard-pressed to keep his pack together.

Gus isn’t too sure about the new dog, Decker. The scent that wafts off him is “bright and cold, like the metal water bowl in Miss Lottie’s kitchen,” and he acts too … confident. But Miss Lottie falls in love with her new rescue, and soon Decker has moved into her room, onto her bed, and squeezed the other dogs out of her heart.

But when Decker convinces Moon Pie to take off on an impossible journey, Gus realizes he has to rally his pack and find the little dog they all love. After all, there are coyotes on the loose, and cars on the road.

Each chapter is told through a different point-of-view, with some providing insights into backstories and personal motives. Each in a unique voice. You can almost hear Moon Pie’s tail wagging as he tries to please Miss Lottie, Gus, Quinn, and bad-boy Decker. You can hear the nervousness in Roo’s hyperactive cadence, and Tank’s heft as he moves and settles and thinks over a response. Then there’s Ghost, the resident cat who rarely shows himself but when he does, it’s to deliver important information. And Quinn, who may or may not have been at fault when his own dog died, and finds acceptance in the pack at Miss Lottie’s house.

In this book you’ll find adventure. You’ll suffer through family/pack disputes and bullying. And at the end you will discover that there’s a “good boy” hidden inside everyone.

This is definitely a book you’ll want to Sit, Stay, and Read.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review ARC provided by the author.


  1. I think a lot of us are suckers for dogs. I don't usually like stories with animals as the main characters, but this sounds like one I'd enjoy. Thanks!

  2. I thought this was a fun book to read because it is told from the dog's point of view, too. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I also enjoyed this one as do many of the younger readers I've talked to about the book. There's nothing like a well told dog story to bring a smile to my face. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.

  4. What an entertaining read for dog lovers -- kids and adults. They always put a smile on your face. Makes me think of the dogs I've owned over the years. Great pick!

  5. I've heard so much praise about this book—everyone seems to adore it! You describe all the emotions and fascinating points of view so well.

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I reviewed 13 Ways to Eat a Fly along with some other nonfiction picture books today—I really enjoyed it!!! Thanks so much for the great review!

  6. I've seen other reviews of this book and the consensus seems to be it is a winner. That cover is so cute! I appreciate reading your thoughts. I will be looking for this one. Thanks for the post.