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A Dog For Life
Cover of A Dog For Life
A Dog For Life
Borrow Borrow
This is the true story of the journey of John Hawkins and his dog, Mouse, from way up north to way down south.
Mouse has been John and his brother Tom's dog for life. They got her as a puppy when they were just little themselves, and they very quickly discovered that they could understand everything Mouse said and she could do the same. She was just a person like everyone else—though maybe a bit cleverer than most.
You've maybe heard that John "ran away with his pet dog." But the truth about this story is that John and Mouse made the journey to save Tom. It's hard to pinpoint when Tom became truly ill, but when the doctors said they had to send Mouse away for fear of infection, the boys knew they had to do something. Without Mouse, Tom would never recover. The journey began to find a temporary home for Mouse, but once they'd set off, nothing turned out the way they'd planned.
From the Hardcover edition.
This is the true story of the journey of John Hawkins and his dog, Mouse, from way up north to way down south.
Mouse has been John and his brother Tom's dog for life. They got her as a puppy when they were just little themselves, and they very quickly discovered that they could understand everything Mouse said and she could do the same. She was just a person like everyone else—though maybe a bit cleverer than most.
You've maybe heard that John "ran away with his pet dog." But the truth about this story is that John and Mouse made the journey to save Tom. It's hard to pinpoint when Tom became truly ill, but when the doctors said they had to send Mouse away for fear of infection, the boys knew they had to do something. Without Mouse, Tom would never recover. The journey began to find a temporary home for Mouse, but once they'd set off, nothing turned out the way they'd planned.
From the Hardcover edition.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.2
  • Lexile:
    910
  • Interest Level:
    MG+
  • Text Difficulty:
    1 - 3

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    One Truth and Lies

    This is the true story of the journey of John Hawkins (that's me) and our dog, Mouse, from way up north to way down south. You've probably heard a mention of it before, but the people that tell the news, they don't tell it right. I never knew that before, until I heard how they told our story. They got all sorts of things wrong, and it made me mad.

    My mum said that everyone knows the news people always get it wrong. You hear famous people moaning about it all the time. She said, some of the time they just make mistakes, but mostly it's because they tell the story they want to tell, or the story people want to hear.

    I thought about that and realized it was true; I was always hearing famous people complaining the news stories about them were wrong, and maybe I just hadn't believed them. And it's true that people like the most crazy story, as long as they can believe it. Like, "Joe got a new bike for Christmas" won't exactly race around the school, but "Joe got a new bike for Christmas, but everyone knows his dad stole it" will. Even if the more exciting version isn't true. But "Joe got a new bike for Christmas, and aliens delivered it to his door" won't work; the person trying to pass that one on is likely to get either no reaction or some pain.

    And I worked out long ago that bit about people not believing stuff they don't want to hear. Sometimes they just act like they haven't heard. Sometimes they call you a liar. For them, anything is better than trying to believe something they don't understand.

    An example of this is when my brother Tom saw a ghost. Not "saw" exactly, because we were leaving a church after a wedding and he was walking a little way ahead, chatting away to someone he thought was a relative, walking next to him. He said afterward he just vaguely noticed it was a man, in a suit, but when you're walking alongside someone, you don't really look at them. We saw him talking to himself, and we called to him, and he looked back at us, and then all around, and asked where the guy had gone.

    Mum didn't like it, I could tell, and said Tom must have been imagining things. Tom and I realized later it must have been a ghost. But people don't like ghosts—why, I don't know. Tom said this guy was perfectly friendly before he vanished; though, when he thought about it, he hadn't actually said anything back to Tom. So we shut up about it after that.

    We also dreamed the same dreams some nights. We found we even sometimes got each other's dreams by mistake, though we couldn't think why—we're not twins or anything; Tom's two years older. Like one day Tom had been playing ball with his mate and that night I had the dream of doing the same thing, but I could tell it was Tom, not me, and in the dream he was irritated about something that wasn't fair. I found this a bit of a boring dream, and told him off the next day, and said could he keep his dreams out of my dreams, which were much better than his.

    Tom said he'd had one about my ant farm being tipped over; but he wasn't interested in the ant farm, and if I'd keep my dreams, he'd try and keep his.

    We never worked out why this happened, and of course, there wasn't really anything we could do about it. But we didn't tell people—including Mum—because we'd tried before, and they seemed to get cross with us, or think we were lying.

    The same sort of thing was true about Mouse. Mouse had been a puppy when we were young, and she was called Mouse because she had squeaked like one. Of course, me and Tom, we understood everything she said and she...
About the Author-
  • L. S. Matthews has written poetry and short stories since she was a child. Today she writes full-time in England, where she lives with her husband and their two children. Her first book for young readers, Fish, was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, and was a Borders Original Voices book. The author lives in England.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Brian Butler's distinctive baritone and sure, fully voiced performance enhance the story of brothers John and Tom and their dog, Mouse. After Tom is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the family decides that "Mouse must go." John takes a secret journey to find the dog a new home. Butler's vocal characterizations infuse the story with good pacing and inflection. He is especially good at giving comic tones to the eccentric characters that John and Mouse meet, including new friends, charlatans, gypsies, and a long-lost uncle. The title A DOG FOR LIFE is layered with meaning as Mouse and John demonstrate love, strength, and courage in a work that is part fantasy, part adventure story. L.D.H. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 11, 2006
    Butler's pronunciation is so crisp, clear and perfect that at times, it is a bit distracting. His enthusiastic impression of John Hawkins, the protagonist of Matthews's (Fish
    ) latest book, suffers a bit from this overarticulation. John, who runs away with his dog, Mouse, in order to save both Mouse and his very ill brother, is a likeable character, and in many ways, Butler is right for the job. Energy-wise his portrayal of John's chipper and sometimes naive personality seems right on the mark. But John's narration is never quite natural. It is a bit stilted, as if being read for the first time. Butler's range with female voices seems limited to the comical, which is appropriate in most cases, except with Mouse. Thankfully, he doesn't give her one of those farcical voices, but listeners do need to keep reminding themselves that Mouse is a she. Despite the imperfect match-up of reader and material, this production remains an engaging listening experience. Ages 10-up.

  • Publishers Weekly, Starred "The bond between the brothers and their dog is as convincing as Tiger's devotion to the title fish in Matthews's first book."
Title Information+
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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L.S. Matthews
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