Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

This book was recommended by my neighboring teacher, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. The story is told from a dog's point of view, and he describes almost anything you can imagine might go through a dog's mind. The plot is broken up into four parts as the dog dies and is reincarnated as another puppy. The first part describes the dog's life as a mutt in the wild until he is taken in by a woman who saves lost dogs. Later, he is reincarnated as a Golden Retriever and is adopted by a family. He finally gets a name, Bailey, and becomes Ethan's pet. They play all of the time and are inseparable until Ethan has a terrible accident and later leaves to go to college. The dog dies and comes back as a female German Shepherd. Her handler is a police officer and the dog, now named Ellie, becomes a search and find dog. She is called in to find missing children and adults; some are found alive and some are dead. When her handler is shot for the second time, Ellie gets assigned to a new police officer. Ellie has a serious accident when she's searching for people in El Salvador after an earthquake. She retires but has one last feat of heroism before she dies. Finally, the dog is reincarnated as a black lab and spends his time trying to figure out his purpose in life. The plot ends up coming full circle.

The book started off a bit slow for me, but it picked up once he was adopted by Ethan's family. The second half of the book was very engaging, and the last two parts were emotional and hard to put down. The first reincarnation was a little hard to understand, but I was prepared for the next two. It was interesting how the dog remembered his previous lives and was able to use that to help him in later lives. He struggled to figure out his purpose as a dog and thought the search dog was it, but he later discovered it was more than that. A great book for dog lovers!

Lexile level from 970

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