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Engle, Margaret. 
New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 5.9
ISBN 0805095160

(4 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Tony is sent to live with his forest ranger Uncle Tio in the Sierra Nevada after his mother is sent to prison for dog fighting.  With the friendship of his uncle’s wilderness search and rescue dog named Gabe,  Tony opens up to this new world in the mountains.  He develops the skills he needs to survive in the wilderness.  This story is written in verse and alternates the voices of Tony and Gabe.  Read about how Tony faces new challenges, and finds the meaning of family, both canine and human.  Mountain Dog: the story of a boy and a dog and the adventure of a lifetime.   (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)

Booktalk #2

Are you seeking a new adventure to take you away from your own backyard?  Then you’ll want to put Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle in your backpack today and head west.  This book is a compelling realistic fiction novel set in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.  It’s filled with struggles and celebrations, relationships and rescues. And what’s even cooler is this story is told through two alternating perspectives.  Meet Tony, the resilient 11 and a half year old boy who’s mom has been sent to jail for running pit bull fights and Gabe, the loyal chocolate lab rescue dog who becomes his trusted companion.  After reading this book you’ll also be amazed at how much you will have actually learned about rescue dogs, tracking wild animals, hiking, making new friends, adapting to a new home, and even some interesting facts about bears and elephants. You’ll even manage to learn a few new Spanish phrases along the way.  But more importantly, you will definitely learn the value of trust as you journey through life.  (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)

Booktalk #3

Eleven-year-old Tony feels lonely, sad, and afraid.  He has had a hard life in Los Angeles, and now his mother has been sent to jail, leaving him alone.  Tony goes to live with Tío Leonilo, a great-uncle he has never met.  Tío, a forest ranger, welcomes Tony to the Sierra Nevada mountain cabin where he lives with his chocolate Lab, Gabe, a trained Search and Rescue dog.  Tony forms a special bond with Gabe, who tells his own story in alternating chapters.  Tony learns from Tío about the mountains, wildlife, tracking, and trail angels, the Search and Rescue volunteers. He attends the Mountain School and even helps train the Search and Rescue dogs.  As weeks pass, Tony starts to feel at home in his new surroundings, but he worries about being forced to return to his old life when his mother is released from jail.  If you like dogs, adventure, and the outdoors, you will enjoy reading Mountain Dog.  (Prepared by: Debbie Henson, Mount Pleasant Academy,  South Carolina Children's Books Award Nominee, 2016)

Booktalk #4

Uncle Tío and his mountain rescue dog Gabe are the perfect medicine for Tony after his mother is sent to jail for dogfighting. Though he feels lost when he is first sent to live with the uncle he has never met, he finds stability and security with him as a new family. He learns about the immigration journey of his mother and uncle, and he develops a passion for nature and for helping others.  (Booktalk by Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Committee, 2016)

SUBJECTS:     Rescue dogs -- Fiction.
                        Dogs -- Fiction.
                        Human-animal relationships -- Fiction.
                        Great-uncles -- Fiction.
                        Foster home care -- Fiction.
                        Hispanic Americans -- Fiction.
                        Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) -- Fiction.
                        Novels in verse.

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