Cover image for Wander
Lindquist, Susan Hart.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
133 pages ; 22 cm
Grieving for their dead mother, twelve-year-old James and his younger sister Sary find healing in their affection for a stray dog.
Reading Level:
720 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 4.0 35643.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



He just appears one day--a grayish dog with white-tipped ears and a tail that wags like crazy. And he keeps coming back, until it feels to James and his younger sister, Sary, as if the old stray is their very own. Soon they've given the dog a name, and after that both children are bound to protect him against all odds. Even if it means keeping him a secret from Dad. Home has been a lonely place since Mom died last winter. Dad spends too much time apart from James and Sary, and though their aunt Lorrie does her best to add cheer, a painful silence fills their house. But now a frisky companion has become part of their lives, and if James and Sary can figure out a way to bring the dog into the family, maybe joy and comfort will tag along with him.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6. Twelve-year-old James and his younger sister, Sary, are grieving for their dead mother, but their father is no help. Unable to accept his wife's death, he continually escapes into painful silences and trips to the local tavern. Aunt Lorrie, with whom the family lives, tries to brighten the children's lives, but she is often busy working in her studio filling pottery orders for the locals. Consequently, the kids spend their days exploring the homestead, seeking comfort in the outdoors. It is here they meet Wander, a stray dog looking for food and a home. Wander becomes the bright spot in their lives, offering unconditional love and affection. Eager to protect him from a gun-toting neighbor anxious to shoot strays preying on his sheep, James and Sary must keep Wander a secret until they figure out some way to bring the dog into the family. Wander's ultimate acceptance and the family's emotional healing are predictable, but readers will still enjoy this touching, gentle story of loss, which deftly captures the children's need for comfort--even if it comes from the love of a dog. --Mary Romano Marks

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-After their mother's death, 12-year-old James and 6-year-old Sary go to live on their Aunt Lorrie's farm with their father, whose own grief is so strong that he fails to see how much his children need him. A chance encounter with a stray dog unites the siblings in an effort to help this shy, lonely animal whom they secretly befriend and name Wander. Their greatest fear is that their neighbor, Wes Tiegland, will also see the mutt and shoot him to protect his sheep. When Wes comes after the dog, Sary is accidentally shot. Although the wound is not life threatening, it forces her father to finally stop running away from his family and begin to heal as he reaches out to help Wander and accepts him into their home. This is a well-written and appealing story with characters whose actions are believable and well drawn, especially in terms of Dad's inability to interact with his children because of his own pain. Lindquist also paints an accurate and sad portrait of the plight of this stray animal as he hides and runs from those who might harm him but desperately seeks human affection. Readers will care about what happens to the characters and will enjoy the upbeat and compassionate ending.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.