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A Guard Dog Named Honey
Cover of A Guard Dog Named Honey
A Guard Dog Named Honey
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I made my birthday vow: I would get Willis out of jail, no matter what.When Bean's brother gets arrested for joyriding in a stolen car, Bean is devastated. She's determined to get him out of jail by...
I made my birthday vow: I would get Willis out of jail, no matter what.When Bean's brother gets arrested for joyriding in a stolen car, Bean is devastated. She's determined to get him out of jail by...
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  • I made my birthday vow: I would get Willis out of jail, no matter what.
    When Bean's brother gets arrested for joyriding in a stolen car, Bean is devastated. She's determined to get him out of jail by raising the bail their mom can't afford. She tries everything, from applying for summer jobs, to offering to paint summer mansions. It's at one of those old mansions that she meets a young girl named Phoebe and her giant (and very valuable) guard dog, Honey.
    Bean quickly hatches her plan: She'll convince Phoebe to sell Honey and let her use some of the cash for bail.
    But when Honey's sale takes a dangerous turn, Bean is torn between her desire for her brother's freedom and her loyalty to Phoebe and sweet, drooly, affectionate Honey. Can Bean fight for her family without betraying her new friends?

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2019
    Bean's determined to raise the money to bail her beloved older brother, Willis, out of jail, but her schemes seem doomed to failure. On this island off the coast of Massachusetts, the opportunities to raise $1,000 in bail money are seriously limited. But plucky Bean is determined to find a way. It's that mission that motivates her to befriend 9-year-old Phoebe. She's been left by her wealthy but distant parents in the care of the unusual chef-turned-nanny Edwin and, more importantly, Honey, a huge young mastiff. Initially, Bean is skeptical of the whole crew, merely currying their favor in order to make money by--she hopes--painting their house. Unexpectedly, Phoebe and Honey take up the slack for the 11-year-old, who is bereft without Willis. Although Bean talks Phoebe into agreeing to sell Honey, she quickly has sobering second thoughts. After Bean realizes the prospective buyer is involved in the dogfighting world, the two girls, full of spunk but a little short of wisdom, resolve to bring the bad guy to justice. The apparently white characters are lovingly crafted and richly nuanced, although drooly, ever loyal Honey almost steals the show. Bean's motivation is fully convincing, and her heartfelt but somewhat scatterbrained plans are age appropriate as she tries to fix too many hard issues with a believable lack of adult help. Richly engaging and evocative. (Fiction. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 13, 2020
    Bean’s 16-year-old brother, Willis, gets arrested on her 11th birthday for drunkenly crashing someone else’s car. When her single mother, who works at the Stop & Shop, says they don’t have enough to bail him out, the girl—whose worries bring on hives and vertigo—decides to earn the money herself. Heading to the wealthy section of Rock Haven, the Massachusetts island where she’s lived her whole life, she looks for a summer family to hire her for odd jobs. When no one bites, Bean sets her sights on Phoebe, a wealthy girl who is staying for the summer with her nanny and dog, Honey, while her parents tour Europe. When Phoebe discloses that Honey, an Italian Neapolitan mastiff, is a purebred worth $3,000, Bean persuades the child, whose parents consistently let her down, to sell the dog. Bean finds a shady buyer, and a related mystery, just as Honey adopts three baby kittens, nursing them and carrying them in her jowls. Bean’s believable desperation to help her brother is poignant in this empathic story featuring well-wrought characters who are trying their very best. Ages 8–12.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2020

    Gr 4-7-Bean has had a hard life so far. Her dad abandoned his family years ago, and her mother has become the sole provider, which means she is never home. And to top it off, her brother gets arrested for stealing a car. Paying the $1,000 bail is a momentous hurdle that Bean feels determined to overcome. But she lives on an island off the coast of Massachusetts, where opportunities to make money are very slim. In her mission to earn the bail, she tries everything from applying for summer jobs to offering to paint vacation homes. It's at one of those mansions that Bean meets Phoebe and her giant guard dog, Honey. Phoebe's own parents are similarly absent as they jet-set around the world, leaving Phoebe in the care of an unusual chef-turned-nanny and, of course, Honey. Phoebe and Honey end up taking care of Bean in her brother's absence, as Bean is extremely lost without him. Somehow Bean ends up talking Phoebe into selling Honey. However, once the girls figure out that the prospective buyer is in the dog-fighting world, the girls vow to bring the bad guys to justice. These characters are lovingly crafted and spunky, with Honey stealing the show. Bean's motivation is convincing, and her ideas are age appropriate. VERDICT An engaging realistic fiction title for the target audience. A solid purchase for young middle school libraries.-Amy Caldera, Dripping Springs Middle School, TX

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Denise Gosliner Orenstein
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