Thank you to Harper Collins Kids for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.
Summary: Lydia knows more about death than most thirteen-year-olds. Her mother was already sick when her father left them six years ago. When her mother dies, it is Lydia who sits by her side.
Fully orphaned now, Lydia follows the plan her mother made with her. She uproots to rural Connecticut to live with her “last of kin.” Aunt Brat, her jovial wife Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord Elloroy welcome Lydia. Only days after her arrival the women adopt a big yellow dog.
Lydia is not a dog person—and this one is trouble! He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past.
Lydia doesn’t want to cause trouble for her new family—and she does not mean to keep secrets—but there are things she’s not telling . . .
….like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important…
….and why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger…
…..and why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past—but at what cost?
Thoughts: Last year I was able to read a lot of middle grade books that really enjoyed them so I was hoping the enjoy a lot this year as well. Unfortunately I just haven’t been reading as much physical books as I would like to and I don’t really enjoy middle grade as audiobooks. I’m glad that I picked this one up though since it seems to have taken me out of the reading slump that I had been in.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book, both the animals and the humans that were included. I really enjoy having dogs in books because I think that they bring something out of the people that I really like. I like when there is a similarity between the dog and the humans which in this case was how they were both brought in around the same time. I think that fact adds to how Lydia relates to this dog and how she views herself in this home.
I liked how we saw Lydia develop through the course of the book and how her relationship with the yellow dog and her new humans change. I like how you watch her grow up and how the people around her change. I thought it was important to hear her thoughts around coming to a new place and feeling like she didn’t belong, I liked seeing her struggle with the idea of making this new place her home and how that scene near the end solidifies for her what this new place means.
I really enjoyed the themes and topics that were discussed throughout the book such as friendship, death, and family. I really enjoyed how the book discusses a different type of family structure and how Lydia comes to terms with her new family.
I recommend this to those of you who enjoy middle grade or have children ages 10+. I think it’s a great book for kids ages 10-14.
You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.