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Martin, Ann M.
New York : Scholastic, 2005
IL 3-6, RL 4.9
ISBN 0439715598

(2 booktalks)

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Booktalk #1

This story is told from a dog's point of view.  Squirrel is born to a stray dog and she and her brother learn how to survive and how to avoid humans.  But Squirrel soon finds herself alone in the world and trying to survive.  She meets up with another stray named Moon who teaches Squirrel more of the ways of the world.  The story follows Squirrel's life as she finds and loses homes and grows old.  There are many tears along the way.

Booktalk #2

Squirrel hasn't had a real home in a long time. Probably since that time she and her brother, Bone, were born in the straw-lined wheelbarrow in the shed on the Merrion's farm. Squirrel and Bone have been wandering in the woods and from town to town ever since Mother disappeared. Squirrel figured Mother probably died in the woods somewhere. But even Bone soon disappeared, after they got quickly picked up and abandoned by this couple in a parking lot. Both thrown out of a car door and both injured.
Then there was Moon, Squirrel's stray friend, but she died, when she got it by a car she didn't see coming in the middle of the road.

Not being anyone's pet, Squirrel figured she'd be on her own forever and that she would feel complete as a lone dog. But would anyone want to adopt her again, or try, and what would that be like?  Would they be cruel or kind? Can a family-pet experience loneliness too?  Foraging food from garbage dumpsters and hunting in the woods, moving along the edges of towns, and sleeping, hidden away from people, is the only life Squirrel has known.

What is to become of Squirrel? Will she ever find Mother or Bone, or another friend, or will she be wandering the rest of her dog years alone?  (L.M.)

SUBJECTS:     Dogs -- Fiction.
                        Orphaned animals -- Fiction.

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