Why did you choose this book?
Honestly, we received an ARC at the library. My officemate, upon seeing a dog on the cover, handed it to me. I shrugged and took it home, where it has been sitting for more than six months. I went on a 2 day trip and decided it was the perfect short read to take with me.
What’s it about?
Sam’s parents decide it is time to euthanize his beloved Labrador, Pogo. Pogo originally belonged to Sam’s older brother, who was killed in the war (I assume Iraq or Afghanistan). To save him, Sam takes him out on his sailboat and runs away from home. The duo encounter various obstacles, and end up spending a few days marooned on a previously abandoned shipwreck with no food or water.
Adventure, juvenile fiction
Other recommended reads?
If you’re into juvenile fiction about dogs, try some of the other classics like Old Yeller, Big Red, Where the Red Fern Grows, or Because of Winn-Dixie.
If you’re reading it for the adventure, try Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet or Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
I only finished this book because it was short (like 130 pages or so). I thought Sam was far too self-centered, even for an impulsive kid. He got on my nerves. The book also had tons of nautical jargon about sails and navigation and parts of boats. Those sections were too advanced for me, and I read at an adult level, which is far above the target reading level for this novel. I would only recommend this book to kids who frequently go sailing and already have nautical knowledge.
Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell