Katherine Tegen Books, Fiction, 2012
Suitable for Ages: 8-12
Themes: Death of Parent, Grief, Dog, Hearing and Visual Impairment, Single-parent family
Awards: The 2013 Schneider Family Middle School Book Award
Book Jacket Synopsis: When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believers her. The only other living soul who sees Cally’s mom is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears. And when Cally stops talking — what’s the point if no one is listening — how will she convince anyone that her mom is still with them or persuade her dad that the huge silver-gray dog is their last link with her.
Why I like this book: Sarah Lean has written a very sensitive and moving story about a girl dealing with the death of her mother. She writes with a very clear, natural and empathetic voice. Her story is about hope, friendship, determination and courage. Her plot is strong with an unexpected twist at the end. Lean does an outstanding job of developing the heart and soul of her characters. When Cally stops talking for 31 days, this determined girl has her reasons. She wants to remember and talk about her mother, who died in a car accident. But her father wants to forget and move on. Cally makes herself heard through her silence in a very unusual way. Dog lovers will cheer for the wolfhound Homeless, who is very loveable. This is a beautiful story for any child who has lost a loved one. You may visit Sarah Lean at her website.