A Mighty Girl's top picks of books about girls and their beloved canine companions!
A loyal companion, a good listener, a helper when needed... a dog can be the most faithful companion that a girl ever has! And whether the dog your Mighty Girl loves is a family pet, a library reading buddy, or a neighborhood friend, she'll love reading stories that show her just how special that relationship is.
In honor of National Dog Day, we're sharing our favorite stories about Mighty Girls and their canine companions. These books celebrate all the love that a dog can give to their girl, as well as the power of that connection to push girls and women to do more than they'd ever thought themselves capable of. At the same time, they provide a reminder that your relationship with a pet is a two-way street, and that taking responsibility for a dog means putting in the work necessary to care for your devoted pal! Whether dogs have been a part of her life for years, or she's just discovering how special they can be, there's a book here that she'll love.
Books about Mighty Girls and Their Dogs
The irrepressible little girl from Please, Baby, Please is back, a little older and with a new responsibility — a puppy! But as anyone who’s added a young puppy to their family knows, an undisciplined pup is hard to manage for an adult, let alone a pair of preschoolers. Adults will smile and young readers will laugh at this very loving and true-to-life depiction of the excitement and challenges of caring for an exuberant puppy.
Lulu is excited to meet all the rescue dogs when the pet-adoption fair comes to her local farmers' market. She wants to take all of them home — but she already has Bingo, and Mama says one dog is enough for their family. That doesn't mean Lulu can't help, though. It's time for Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad — her friends Grasshopper Girl and Bumblebee Boy — to step in! And when Lulu comes up with the perfect plan to help the dogs find their forever homes, her idea is such a success that the Bug Squad knows they'll be back again next week. Together, they can help every dog get adopted.
Skelly and her ghost dog Femur are back in this adventure that has them investigating the mysterious disappearances of objects around around Skelly manor. One at a time, Skelly's buttons, Femur's bones, and even spoons, dishes, an umbrella, and a rusty anchor all go missing. Then, Skelly and Femur hear strange noises in the attic. Fortunately, together, they feel courageous enough to peek... and not only solve the mystery, but also make a new, inventive friend! Cheerfully macabre illustrations and a just-spooky-enough story provide a humorous reminder that a girl and her dog are close as can be, even when they're both nothing but bones.
Madeline of Paris has an adventure with her puppy Genevieve in this book from the Step Into Reading series! Genevieve is a curious dog with a sharp nose who's always looking for something yummy to eat. Except this time, when the girls go for a walk, Genevieve finds delicious things in a trash can... and a stinky fish in the river. "Pee-yew!" says everyone nearby... Genevieve needs a bath. This Step 2 reader uses basic vocabulary and short sentences, perfect for kids who recognize familiar words and can sound out new ones, and the rollicking rhyme helps them decode new words, too! Plus, they'll love the illustrations in the same charming style as the classic Madeline stories.
Madame Martine lives in Paris, a city full of things to explore and do, but she sticks to her daily routine and never deviates. She hasn't even seen the Eiffel Tower — "just for tourists," she sniffs. But when Madame Martine takes in a stray dog, her schedule is in for some changes! The puppy isn't content to follow along, and leads her on a wild chase — which ends at the top of the tower, with Madame Martine realizing how much beauty surrounds her. Before long, the new friends have a new routine: trying something different every week. This funny story about how pets can enrich (and shake up!) your life is sure to be a favorite.
The dog in this book is getting on in years, but he still loves all the wonderful things in the world. Unfortunately, his people have been going fast, fast, FAST ever since their daughter was born: short walks, racing to and from appointments, no time to stop and appreciate the moments. Then something wonderful happens: the girl starts to walk. Suddenly, the dog has someone who wants to go at his speed, who loves exploring and rolling down hills, who knows how special a "just-right rock" is. This charming and sweet story about an old dog and his little girl celebrates the bond between children and animals — and reminds readers that age doesn't have to bring a loss of joy.
On a sunny day, a woman visiting a local park spots a small dog hiding under a bench. The shaggy pup is obviously a stray, so the woman tries to coax him out, but he is too afraid to emerge. Patiently, she visits over and over, offering a tennis ball and kind words; the ball is tentatively accepted, and that night, the dog even tracks her steps back to her apartment, where he thoughtfully looks up at the window. But it takes a raging storm to give the dog proof that she will always be there — and that her home is his too. No words are required in this touching picture book about a woman, a dog, and the loving warmth of a forever home.
Aurora and her family are settling into their new home in America, and that means learning to speak English. Their home is full of notes reminding them: lamp (lámpara), raincoat (poncho), shoes (zapatos). Aurora's learning fast, but their dog, Nena, still only knows commands in Spanish. She can siéntate (sit) and espera (wait)... and she definitely knows postre (treat!) At the dog park, Aurora explains that Nena doesn't understand English, but fortunately the welcoming community is more than willing to help. After all, no matter what language she knows, Nena is a ¡buena chica! Venezuelan-American author-illustrator Andrea Cáceres draws from her own experience to create a sweet story about immigration, language learning, and the special love between a girl and a dog.
Maude has just moved to a new town, and she's feeling lonely — so she draws a blue puppy, names him Scribbly, and he becomes her new best friend! They do everything together (even if Mom thinks Maude is a bit old for imaginary friends.) When she's invited to a neighborhood birthday party, Maude is so nervous about being "the new kid" that she brings Scribbly along — and to her delight, all the other kids want to play with him. And with a nudge from Mom, Maude realizes that it's her own creativity and playfulness that helped her make the friends she craved! This charming book combines a reminder that imaginary friends are real friends with an authentic and compassionate look at a child's emotions about moving.
Izzy is "a medium-sized girl with big ideas" — and her best friend is Max, a big dog who keeps her company as she tinkers and makes. And Izzy is a gifted maker: she can build just about anything, from a birdhouse to a working catapult! So when Izzy decides to take up knitting, she's sure she'll figure it out. The basic projects like scarves and hats go smoothly, but her first sweater doesn't work out. Izzy tries to stay positive — "Failure is part of the creative process," she tells Max — but when each of her attempts goes awry it's hard to keep her chin up! Then a trip to the dog park gives her the perfect idea: her sweater may not be Izzy-shaped... but it could be just Max's style. This charming book celebrates perseverance, problem-solving, and how the love of a pet can help you turn things around.
In this city, dozens of Dachshunds match and march in lockstep: "they all blend in. No dog stands out." Except for Odd Dog, whose love of rainbow colors makes her unique in a way that makes her feel "on her own and out of place." To seek out dogs more like her, she heads for Doggywood, where she believes her individuality will be more appreciated. There, however, she realizes that she rather likes standing out — and when she returns home, she discovers that her absence has prompted her friends and neighbors to explore a little individuality of their own! This charming story celebrates the joys of embracing your authentic self.
Side by side are two houses, separated by a fence. In one backyard, a dog wishes for someone to play with... until one day, a girl pokes a finger through the fence to say hello. She even offers a peanut butter cracker! Then she comes back that evening with an armful of books. "I hope you don't mind," she says. "I've noticed that no one every plays with you — and I like reading aloud." As she reads each story, the pair imagine themselves inside it... together. Soon, they're close friends, who spend time every day in make-believe worlds. Inspired by a true story, this gentle tale, paired with vibrant and emotional illustrations, is a celebration of how stories can bring us together.
When Louise's beloved dog Charlie dies, she knows that life will never be the same. Angry and sad, she rows out to the island on the lake where she and Charlie loved to spend time... only to encounter a bear that roars at her. She roars back, and she sees in its downcast eyes that it, too, has lost something. Strangely, that offers her some comfort, and she returns to the island over and over during the summer and fall. Some days she or the bear feel a little better, while other days one or the other feels worse, but grief and healing take time. And when Bear has to bed down for the winter, Louise comes to realize that life can change for the better, too. This poignant picture book about loss and grief will help young readers understand that the most important thing for healing is time.
Emma loves all things art, and her biggest inspiration is her beloved dog, Muse. But one day, Muse picks up a paintbrush and adds a splotch of vibrant color to a canvas Emma is preparing. Instead of being grateful, Emma is furious, and Muse runs away. Without him, Emma's lost more than her creative spark: she's lost her best friend. How can apologize to Muse if she can't even find him? Clever references to art and art history are sprinkled in this book, but the most important part of the story is Emma's creative way to let Muse know she's sorry — and the loving relationship they share.
Biscuit has been growing and growing, so it's time for him to get a check-up from the veterinarian! In the waiting room, Biscuit meets all sorts of other animals. When it's his turn, Biscuit gets weighed, measured, and checked so he can be given a clean bill of health, plus vaccines to help him stay healthy. Fortunately, with his loving friend by his side, a visit to the vet isn't so bad! This cheerful and charming book is a great first introduction to what your Mighty Girl's pup does at a vet visit... and might inspire a future career as a veterinarian!
This little girl loves walking home from school and looking at all the people walking their dogs! Some of them are very alike, like the gentleman whose mustache is almost exactly like his schnauzer's; others are very different, like the very short person with the very large dog. But no matter what, it's clear that these humans and dogs are meant to be the perfect pair. And when the girl gets home, readers get a surprise — as well as a reminder that there are many kinds of furry friends. This charming book with a colorful cast of characters is sure to delight young dog lovers.
When a huge black dog appears outside the Hope family’s house, they’re all terrified... except for Small, the youngest, who chases the rapidly shrinking dog throughout the whole neighborhood. By the time they get back to the house, Small’s courage has shrunk the dog enough that it fits through the cat door, and the Hopes agree that he doesn’t seem so scary after all — and invite him into the family. This charming metaphorical story uses the story of a family taking in a dog who's not "as huge nor as scary as they feared" to teach kids the power of facing their fears, but dog fans will particularly enjoy watching Small and the black dog enjoy their game of chase!
This little girl's family has just brought home a new dog — and they have a lot to learn! As she describes how the family gets Sophie the pup settled in their new home, readers will learn about everything a dog needs, from a warm bed to good long walks, from the fun (treats!) to the important work of training. A list of tips at the end include useful information about how to tell a dog's mood from its posture. For dog-loving kids eager to add a new friend to the family, this book provides everything they need to know in an encouraging and realistic way.
Madeline really does not like to read — but she really wants a gold star from her teacher, and gold stars are only for kids who can read the words out loud. Then Madeline meets Bonnie, a library dog, who's patient and quiet and never minds if Madeline needs a few minutes to figure out a word. With Bonnie's help, Madeline realizes that she doesn't like reading because she finds it hard, and that with a supportive friend who gives her the space to go slow, she can develop both her reading skills and her love of the written word. It's a lovely reminder of the many ways that pets can help support us. Fans of this book will enjoy the companions, Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog, Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog, and Madeline Finn and the Blessing of the Animals.
"Sometimes I live with my mom. Sometimes I live with my dad. My dog, Fred, stays with me." As this little girl adjusts to her parents' divorce, one thing is constant: her beloved dog. But while Fred provides her with plenty of affection, he can also cause problems at both houses: barking at neighboring pets, getting mud in the car, and even eating a pair of Dad's socks! And while her parents may be frustrated, when she insists that Fred has to stay, they know that the bond she has with Fred is worth figuring out solutions. In addition to celebrating the power of a pet's love, this book is a helpful way to talk with kids about co-parenting and separate family homes.
Zara the girl and Moose the dog adore one another, which means saying goodbye is as awful for Moose as "an itch that couldn’t be scratched." So when Zara goes to school, Moose keeps escaping (in more and more elaborate ways) to join her! The only thing that works is confining a lonely Moose to a crate, something everyone realizes isn't a good solution. So Zara takes Moose to her own school — therapy dog school — and Moose returns to the classroom as the class reading dog! This fun story also includes an endnote with additional information and websites about therapy dogs.
The old woman in this story has outlived all of her friends, so to help herself feel less lonely, she names inanimate objects — but only the things that she knows will outlive her. Then a stray puppy makes his way into her life. She feeds the stray, but still refuses to name him. When the dog she still won’t acknowledge as hers doesn’t show up one day, she has a choice to make: let this new friendship disappear, or welcome a loving creature into her life and finally give him a name. This touching story captures the value of animal friendship in all stages of life.
When Emily Dickinson was given a puppy by her father, she named him Carlo after a dog in one of her favorite stories. Carlo turned out to be an enormous and energetic beast whose antics delighted Emily, and together, the pair went on many adventures. With Carlo, Emily felt confident enough to explore the wilderness near her home, and he provided an excellent sounding board for her writing. In fact, with Carlo, Emily had all the companionship that she needed. This lyrical look at the special relationship between Emily and Carlo is a reminder of how much emotional support a loving pet can provide.
Ever since she was born, Eli has been by Astrid's side. He's been a bodyguard, a pillow, and her very first friend; he eats under her table and sleeps at her feet. But Astrid is getting older — and so is Eli. So Astrid decides that Eli should enjoy the years before he slows down and creates a bucket list for him: everything from visiting the movie theater to sleeping under the stars to eating spaghetti and meatballs at a restaurant! What's revealed over time, though, is that the most important thing is spending time together: "Being with Astrid was the only thing left on Eli’s bucket list. It was the only thing that had ever been on Eli’s bucket list." This tribute to the special relationship between a girl and her pet is full of heart.
Billie Holiday's life was big and bold: she had a powerful voice, gardenias in her hair, and country-wide fame as Lady Day, one of the great performers of her time. She also had lots of dogs: a coat-pocket poodle, a beagle, Chihuahuas, a Great Dane, and more. But her favorite was Mister, a boxer who bolstered her courage when she needed it — like before her big performance at Carnegie Hall. This charming story tells the story of Holiday's bond with Mister, accented with stylish and colorful illustrations. An author's note includes more details about Holiday's troubled life, as well as a photograph of Holiday with the real-life Mister.
Lucy is a small dog without a home, but who remembers what it was like to be loved and safe in her dreams. Eleanor is a compassionate little girl who feeds the stray dog she sees outside her window, and whose father is a juggler struggling with stage fright. When their three stories come together, a new chapter will start for all of them! Told in four acts with monochromatic artwork, the first three sections are each from a single character's perspective, each revealing a little more before a finale that will make young readers cheer.
All of Rescue's family are seeing eye dogs, but his trainer thinks he's better suited to become a service dog – and Rescue's worried he's not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose leg has just been amputated who is struggling to adjust to her new life. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And, when Jessica's other leg has to be amputated too, they have to start all over again. It turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time! This unique and thoughtful picture book about acquired disability, service dogs, and the power of hope also includes an introduction to the work of dogs trained by the National Education for Assistance Dog Services (NEADS).
There's been a break-in on Orange Street, where Hilde Lysiak, 9-year-old reporter, lives: first some cupcakes are stolen, then a pie follows suit. Never one to back down from a challenge — or a story — Hilde sets out to crack the case. She'll interview witnesses and look for clues... and along the way, she'll get a hand from a tiny, scruffy-haired dog named Zeus, whose clever nose helps her sniff out key details. Kids will love reading about Hilde and Zeus' adventure, especially when they realize that Hilde is a real-life girl journalist and detective! Fans of Hilde can check out the second book, Bear on the Loose!.
King the dog helps his best friend Kayla solve a mysterious pair of coded letters! Kayla and Mason have both received letters. What Kayla knows is that the same person sent both of them — someone both she and Mason know — and that the two letters are the same except for the second word. What King knows is that Jillian is the one who left the letters. Can Kayla and King figure out what the letters say using these clues? This fun early chapter mystery story teaches young readers how to gather information and analyze clues. Fans of this series can find more volumes in our King & Kayla Collection.
Stubborn Lulu from Lulu and the Brontosaurus is back, this time looking to make a little extra cash by walking the neighborhood dogs. But Brutus, Cordelia, and Pookie don’t make the walk a very easy one! Lulu’s do-gooding neighbor Fleischman offers some help, which she reluctantly accepts — but can two totally opposite personalities, and three not-very-cooperative dogs, ever work together? With a sarcastic, witty tone, Viorst’s story captures how animals, even undisciplined ones, can bring people together.
Kate and Lucie are best friends who sometimes feel that they don't have much in common — except that they both adore dogs. But in their apartments, dogs aren't allowed, and dog T-shirts, sheets, pajamas, and books aren't nearly as good as having a real dog. Then one day, a pair of sparkly pink dog necklaces from the thrift store transform the girls into dogs themselves! And once they've figured out how to switch back and forth, the girls realize this is the perfect opportunity for some real fun... and even to promote Adopt-A-Dog week so they can help the dogs they love find homes. Dog-loving girls who can't have their own will love watching Kate and Lucie explore a dog's life. Fans of the series can check out the next volume, Teacher's Pets.
Exuberant pup Bella is called "Bad Bella" more often than not ever since Mrs. McBride's belly started growing. She doesn't try to be bad, but she gets no forgiveness for her mistakes, and it's not long before she's abandoned at the pound right before Christmas. When a new family, the Roses, take Bella in, everything seems wonderful... but Bella can't help but worry that history will repeat itself. Is she doomed to be "Bad Bella" forever, or can she find a forever home for in time for Christmas? Inspired by author Ali Standish's real-life rescue dog, this charming story will delight young dog lovers.
Lauren loves dogs, but she can't have one of her own — her stepfather is allergic. So instead, she and her friends Ruby, Myka, and Emelyn decide to volunteer at the local shelter, where they can read to all the pups! But they soon discover just how hard it can be for older dogs to get adopted. When the girls can't track down people they know to adopt Rhett and other older dogs, they decide to hold a special event at Lauren's uncle's cupcake shop. On the big day, things don't work out as planned — but fortunately, these determined girls know they can save the day... and the dogs! This early chapter book series opener, which features spot illustrations throughout, even includes a selection of profiles about real-life animal activists around the world. The first five books in the series are available in The Invincible Girls Club Unstoppable Collection.
10-year-old Aster is expecting nothing but boredom when her parents move the whole family to an isolated mountain town. But when Aster bumps into a mysterious old woman who gives her a dog named Buzz, saying he will ensure "the mountain will always look after you," things get unexpectedly interesting! Aster stumbles into one adventure after another, from magic gone wrong when a wish to be able to understand Buzz results in her only being able to speak dog, to helping a group of chestnut knights ensure the seasons pass as promised. This charming and whimsical graphic novel, full of action and adventure, will leave kids wishing they could dive into Aster's world! Aster's adventures continue in the sequel, Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic.
When Libby Riddles got interested in mushing sled dogs, she set her sights on the most famous dog sled race in the world: the Iditarod, 1,100 miles through Alaska's toughest terrain. But no woman had ever run the Iditarod, so she knew if she wanted to be the first, she'd have to train hard — and develop a close relationship with her sled dogs, who had to listen to her and trust her no matter what they faced on the trail. And with their help, through storms, freezing temperatures, and long days of running, she achieved her dream. Riddles tells her own story with exciting detail, and throughout she reminds readers that her win was just as much due to her loyal and determined dogs as it was to her own efforts.
It's the middle of a hot and boring summer for Clarice Bean: her best friend is away, her sister is mad at her, and nothing fun ever seems to happen. Then Clarice bumps into a dog who won't seem to go home, no matter how much she says "Scram!" Maybe he doesn't have a home to go to? Mum and Dad are away at a wedding so Clarice smuggles him home. She can't keep him a secret from her siblings for long, but soon they're helping her take care of him too. But what will happen when her parents finally come home? This charming story from the beloved illustrated chapter book series celebrates the joy that comes when a pet finds their way into our hearts.
Ivy the girl and Scout the Korgi travel to Korgi Hollow, a world full of fairies, spiders, dinosaurs, and even a giant troll. The Mollies, little woodfolk, rely on the Korgis for protection from all of the dangers in their world. When Ivy and Scout find the Mollies’ gathering, there’s sure to be adventure ahead! A true graphic novel, with no text other than the brief introduction to the setting at the beginning, your Mighty Girl will love telling this story over and over... and maybe, if she has her own canine friend, a little of their special relationship will sneak into this woodland fantasy.
Stella, a beagle, spent years working with her handler, Connie, learning to use her powerful nose to identify explosive chemicals and keep people safe. But then Stella made a mistake — and the resulting explosion killed Connie, leaving Stella grieving and traumatized, panicking whenever she hears loud noises, sees fire, or gets left alone. Foster homes haven't helped, and the humans think they'll have to euthanize Stella until Esperanza, a world-class dog trainer, and her 11-year-old daughter Cloe decide to take her in. Stella's determined to prove herself, and when she realizes that she can smell a chemical right before every time Cloe has a seizure, she has to figure out how to warn them without them thinking she's just having another anxiety attack. Told through Stella's eyes, this is a sweet story about a dog with PTSD and a girl with epilepsy who find futures with one another.
Helen Thayer wanted an adventure — and traveling on foot to the magnetic North Pole certainly fit the bill! To do it, she knew she'd face all sorts of dangers, from freezing weather to polar bears, so she thought she'd better bring a companion. Charlie became her guard dog and an extra set of eyes and ears that could warn her if it was too dangerous to travel that day. This book follows Thayer's planning, training, and finally, her long trek to reach her goal. Young readers will love following her and Charlie on their remarkable travels! For two more books about Mighty Girl dogs in the Arctic, check out Big-Enough Anna: The Little Sled Dog Who Braved The Arctic for ages 4 to 8 and Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod.
Fourth grader Emily's life changed forever when a whirlwind in silver sequined sneakers named Rani moves into her apartment building. Rani is living alone (her mother is conducting research in Patagonia) with no one but her dog Otto for company. She doesn't seem to understand how to pay for things she wants in stores, or why the rules at school exist. At the same time, she's generous and kind, and Emily feels increasingly pulled towards their growing friendship. And when Rani's ignorance of the world results in the unlicensed Otto being taken to a shelter, Emily leads the charge to reunite the pair and make things right. This illustrated chapter book starring a modern-day Pippi Longstocking is just irresistibly fun.
Tuesday's mother, Serendipity, is a famous author — and now she's missing. So Tuesday and her dog Baxterr set out to find her, and discover the mysterious, unpredictable place that stories come from. In order to rescue her mother — and get to The End — Tuesday will have to make new friends, learn to sail a magical boat, defeat a dangerous pirate, learn the truth about her definitely-not-ordinary dog, and get in touch with her creative side to find the power in storytelling. This magical adventure plays with narrative structure and the creative process to celebrate the power of finding your own voice, and along the way celebrates the loyalty of a loving dog (even if your Mighty Girl's dog isn't quite as unique as Baxterr.) Tuesday and Baxterr return in the sequel, A Week Without Tuesday.
Opal comes home from her local Winn-Dixie supermarket with something entirely unexpected — a stray dog! Soon she and the dog are best friends, and she’s named him after the place where they met. Winn-Dixie’s goofy, warm attitude become the conversation starter Opal needs to meet a wide variety of unexpected characters in her new town... and even prompts her sad, introverted father to open up about why Opal’s mother left the family. This Newbery Honor book, which was also adapted into a live-action film, is a lovely story of friendship, acceptance, and love.
Georgina's family is in a terrible position: they were evicted from their apartment after her father left, and now she and her brother Toby live in their car while her mother works two jobs trying to make enough money to find a new place to live. Then Georgina sees a sign offering a reward for a lost dog and comes up with a desperate idea: steal a dog, wait for the owner to offer a reward, and then return it. Georgina doesn't feel good about her plan, and feels even worse when it turns out that the dog's owner doesn't have enough money to offer a reward. It will be a struggle to both fix her mistake and find a solution for her family. Although this story begins with a hard premise, the gentle tone and soft humor keep it from feeling bleak, and the final message emphasizes what is right with the world.
During the Battle of the Bulge at the end of World War II, the human army was supplied by a loyal group of sled dogs who brought supplies. In this exciting book from the Soldier Dogs series, kids follow Boss the Alaskan Husky, who is bravely parachuting into the middle of a blizzard to fulfill her mission. But the army dogs aren't the only ones out, and Boss is shocked to discover a wounded sled dog and two lost children in the middle of the snow. Now Boss needs to get them home safe, evade the enemy, and still get the critical supplies into Allied hands! This thrilling story based on real-life military history includes a pull-out collectible poster and map.
Momo has dreamed of having a Lhasa terrier, just like the ones that the Tibetan Buddhist priests hold sacred, as long as she can remember. So when her parents get Pempa from a passing trader, it's a dream come true! Pempa, she's told, comes with a prophecy: he will bring adventure and fortune to his family. When robbers steal the valuable dog, Momo is heartbroken and furious. She decides to follow the Great Trade Route across the mountains so that she can get Pempa back. The journey is long and dangerous, but Momo is determined... and her determination may just bring the adventure and fortune she was promised. This Newbery Honor book celebrates faith, perseverance, and the fierce love a Mighty Girl has for her dog.
Wilma Tenderfoot isn't driven to become a detective by fame and fortune; she just wants to figure out who her parents are. So when she discovers that her new neighbor is a renowned detective, she's determined to become his assistant — along with her loyal and sometimes overexuberant dog, Pickle. But having an unskilled 10-year-old and her evidence-eating dog around isn't exactly conducive to solving a mystery. Can Wilma prove her mettle and discover the perpetrator fast enough to impress the daring detective, and before Pickle eats all the clues? Kids will laugh out loud at this wacky and adventurous story starring a girl and her goofy but lovable dog!
Rose Howard's Asperger's syndrome manifests in a love of homonyms and anxiety about changes to routine. When her struggling single father brings home a dog, though, it's a change Rose adores, and she quickly chooses the name Rain — which, since it has two homonyms (reign, rein) is one of the most special names of all. But when Rain goes missing in a storm, Rose has to break all of her familiar patterns to find her beloved pet... and when she learns that Rain may already have a home, Rose will face a very difficult decision. This heartfelt novel about justice, courage, and love is sure to touch your Mighty Girl's heart.
11-year-old Sadie is expecting this year to be a "carnival of suckage": her best/only friend has moved away, she's recently been diagnosed with a processing disorder, her brother is a jerk, and Gramps is forgetting things. But then she meets a stray dog named Dewey — and discovers they can communicate telepathically. Dewey seems destined to be her friend, but when Dewey is captured and sent to a shelter, and Sadie's mom says he's a bite risk, Sadie becomes desperate to save him before he's euthanized. With Gramps' help, she's going to break Dewey out of doggie jail... and along the way, figure out how to balance taking care of others and taking care of herself. Perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate, Holly Goldberg Sloan, and Lynda Mullaly Hunt, this is an uplifting story about compassion, friendship, and the power of a dog's love.
Piper's life is turned upside down when her family moves into a shelter in a whole new city. She misses her house, her friends, and her privacy — and she hates being labeled the homeless girl at her new school. But the shelter also brings new friendships with other girls in the shelter's Firefly Girls troop and with a sweet street dog owned by an elderly homeless woman named Jewel, who refuses to move into the shelter because she can't bring her beloved Baby. After Jewel is hospitalized and Baby is sent to an animal shelter, Piper decides to rally her new Firefly friends and figure out a way to make sure that Jewel and Baby can stay together and move off the streets for good. Told in alternating perspectives, this heartfelt story explores the many faces of homelessness while speaking to the importance of hope, the power of story, and the true meaning of home.
12-year-old Spirit doesn’t seem to have inherited the family talent for seeing the future — or maybe she’s just blinded by grief after the mysterious death of Sky, her beloved dog. Soon, people start getting sick as well, and start blaming the wild dogs, who are often considered vessels for dangerous spirits. Spirit, however, refuses to believe it. When Sky’s ghost appears, Spirit realizes she will be the key to finding the truth behind the mysterious illness... before it’s too late. This heartfelt fantasy novel adds a touch of magic to the story of the special connection between a girl and her dog.
Cally Fisher has learned that "Talking doesn't always make things happen, however much you want it to." It can't bring her mother back to life, or stop her father from selling their home, so she's been silent for a month — and since no one seems to listen to her anyway, not talking is almost a relief. Cally's biggest fear is losing all memory of her mother, but when she appears to Cally one day — and a scraggly stray wolfhound sees her too — nobody believes her. As Cally develops new friendships with people who listen, though, she becomes convinced that the dog is a special connection to her mother... and that, somehow, she has to convince her father that Homeless belongs with them. This gentle, touching story celebrates the comfort that Homeless brings to Cally as she works her way through grief.
After 12-year-old Josie, her family, and her friends in the Three Stoops crew found a home for Hamlet the pig in The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City, Josie's become known for her love of animals — and it opens up a job volunteering at the local animal clinic. She adores it, especially since it provides a haven from her big, noisy family. Then a box appears on the clinic's steps, with seven puppies inside... and a note asking Josie to find good homes for them. Now Josie has to manage the puppies and find good homes for all of them, all while balancing friendship struggles and family, including Sugar, their beloved but aging dog. This heartwarming story about the joys of bringing pets into your life is sure to delight animal lovers.
8th grader Malian loves visiting her grandparents on the Wabanaki reservation — but when COVID-19 shuts down travel in the middle of her winter visit, she finds herself living there indefinitely. She misses her parents in Boston, and the spotty internet on the rez makes it difficult for her to keep up with online classes. But she has Malsum, a "rez dog" who shows up at the family's door and becomes a close companion, and she discovers that the Wabanaki community has ways of supporting one another through crisis... even after the atrocities of the past, which included Malian's own mother being forcibly removed by social services for adoption to a white couple. Told in spare verse by the U.S.'s foremost indigenous children's author, this is a poignant tale about the power of stories, the strength of community, and what it means to be chosen by a dog.
11-year-old Kazu Jones is a would-be detective who's gotten herself in hot water a few times — with both her parents and the police — over false alarms. But there's a crew of dognappers in her neighborhood, and Kazu can't let justice go undone, so when she finds a lead, she recruits her own team, including her hacker best friend, her socially anxious dog Genki. Digging into the mystery draws the attention of the dognappers, though, and soon her beloved Genki could be the next dog to disappear! With its clever story full of fun twists and furry friends, this series opener is sure to please dog lovers and detective fans alike.
It's 1957 Moscow, and Laika, a stray dog who's been captured from the streets, is about to meet Nina, a girl who's missing her best friend — and facing suspicion since her friend's family defected to America. The pair meet in a Soviet Space Program lab, where Laika is supposed to become a starflyer, a dog trained to travel to space in a remote-controlled craft. The girl and the dog quickly bond, and Nina even organizes a service project that will allow her to spend more time with Laika. But as Nina begins to question the Soviet regime's oppression, she comes to the horrifying realization that Laika isn't supposed to come back from her mission. Now she's desperate to find a way to save her new friend. Told in both Laika and Nina's voices, and based on an incredible true story, this is a tense and poignant exploration of the cost of early space exploration — and the love between a girl and a dog.
For years, 11-year-old Charlie Reese has collected ways to make wishes, from blowing off an eyelash to eating the pointed tip of a slice of pie last. She wishes for luck, to fit in, and for her mother to get off the couch and care for her so she doesn't have to go live with an aunt and uncle she doesn't even know. But while living with Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus, Charlie stumbles across a stray dog she names Wishbone and a neighbor boy named Howard, both of whom threaten to break through her tough exterior. And when Wishbone goes missing, Charlie might find that there's a difference between what you wish for and what you actually want. This complex story about the true meaning of family will resonate with readers long after they're done.
8th grader Ariel feels like an outsider in her own family: her brother George is in Afghanistan, her father is too busy thinking about George to notice her, and her mother is focused on her Hollywood plans for her gorgeous sister Gloria. So Ariel takes to the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she gets caught up in a spring storm — and meets a dog she names Duke. Duke leads her to a cabin where Staff Sgt. Josephina Martínez, a former K-9 handler who's struggling with PTSD, offers a haven for animal-loving Ariel. Before long, Ariel has decided she's going to help Duke overcome his fears... and along the way, she just might find herself. This novel about belonging, found family, and the love of a dog is a charming story of self-discovery.
12-year-old Jessie is going to have a lonely summer at her aunt and uncle's house, now that her cousin has a new best friend. So she convinces Wes, the crotchety neighborhood dog walker, to taker her on as an assistant/apprentice. Wes' Rules of the Ruff dog-walking code helps Jessie handle some of the challenges... until a rival dog walker moves in and snatches up most of Wes' business. When Jessie decides to take action, though, she'll soon realize that good intentions don't outweigh the damage that you do. This fun story with an industrious main character also celebrates the special role dogs can play in our lives.
12-year-old Olive is struggling with grief and anxiety after her father died of cancer — leaving her in the care of Maudie, an older half-sister she barely knows. The dog-loving girl wishes that she could have a pet to help her adjust to everything. Maudie is determined to do right by Olive — despite her boyfriend's objections to taking her in — but she thinks their home is too chaotic to add a dog. Then Olive gets the opportunity to raise Lumie a guide dog puppy. Every success she has with Lumie helps her build confidence, but if Lumie is chosen for the guide dog program, Olive will lose her forever... Bestselling author Joan Bauer tells another heartfelt story about a girl, a puppy, and how hope lies in the most unexpected places.
When 12-year-old Daisy dies in a car crash, she's shocked to find herself in a Job Center for souls. She's even more startled when she walks through the wrong door and finds herself in the body of a newborn puppy — with all her human memories. Determined to find her parents, she runs away as soon as she can, only to meet 14-year-old Pip, a homeless boy searching for his father who names his new animal friend Ray. As the pair form a friendship and travel together, Daisy finds herself slowly losing her human self... and starts to wonder if she's already found the home she's looking for. Touching and powerful, this book explores love, family, and the journeys (both physical and emotional) that bring us home.
13-year-old Lydia has spent the last seven years being homeschooled while she cared for her mother, whose heart was slowly failing... and now that it finally has, the grieving girl is moving in with her aunt Brat, her wife Eileen, and their elderly landlord Elloroy. That's hard enough, but when Brat and Eileen adopt an unruly rescue dog named Guffer right after she arrives, Lydia struggles even more to feel like she belongs. She takes solace in her "goddesses," paper collages of strong women that she and her mother used to make to "cope and to keep hope." As Lydia settles in, though, she starts to make a few friends — and starts to figure out the secret behind Guffer's mysterious past. This gentle story about grief, family, and finding a new home after loss will tug on your heartstrings.
In the midst of a southern African drought, Sarel's family is murdered by thugs, leaving her alone with nobody but her family's Rhodesian ridgeback dogs to protect her. But Nandi, the leader of those dogs, refuses to leave the family's homestead as the well starts to run dry. She knows that help is coming in the form of a boy named Musa with a talent for using dowsing sticks to find water in the driest desert, who has escaped his captors and is determined to stay free. Together, Sarel, Musa, and Nandi must find not just safety, but the most precious resource of all: water. This lyrical survival story is told from the perspectives of all three, and readers will be particularly moved by Nandi's love and loyalty to her Sarel-girl.
12-year-old Willow is the daughter of an Anglo father and an Athabascan mother. She dreams of blending in, rather than standing out, but she also wants to start taking on adult privileges like mushing the dogs to her grandparents' house on her own, with her beloved Roxy as the lead dog. Even a small mistake can serious, even dangerous, consequences in the wilderness, though — something Willow learns all too well when Roxy is blinded in an accident. To save Roxy from being euthanized, Willow sets out to Grandma and Grandpa's with her, and ends up caught in a blizzard. But with Roxy by her side — and the spirits that protect her family nearby — Willow will understand both her family and her own place in the world a bit better. Innovative storytelling makes this novel in verse a complex, multifaceted read, but the heart of the story is the relationship between Willow and Roxy.