Cover image for Lucky Boy
Lucky Boy
Boase, Susan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 26 cm
A neglected dog finds a real home with a grieving widower who needs a friend.
Reading Level:
790 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 59142.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.5 2 Quiz: 34507 Guided reading level: K.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Always on the go, to work and to school, and shopping on the weekends, the Gustin family fill their lives with things more important than their little brown dog. So Boy spends most days alone, in the fenced backyard, feeling vaguely unloved and growing fat- until the day he decides to dig himself out. With sensitivity and skill, Susan Boase reminds us that every dog deserves his day- and perhaps, if we are truly fortunate, at day's end, we will find companionship and love.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This splendidly told dog story finds a pair of neighbors one two-legged, the other four-legged mired in loneliness until chance brings them together. Confined by a high wooden fence to a barren back yard, Boy, a small brown, "kind of stinky" dog, is neglected and bored ("There wasn't much to look at; he had looked"). Next door lives elderly Mr. Miller, recently widowed and struggling with his loss ("He knew his wasn't the only broken heart in the world, but it certainly felt like it"). One night Boy digs his way under the fence, and when Mr. Miller discovers him in his yard the following morning seemingly dropped from nowhere, as Boy's tunnel is disguised by the compost pile it's love at first sight. A bath reveals Boy to be white, not brown, and he's allowed to do all manner of new things: come inside, jump on a bed, ride in a car and go for a walk on a leash. It's hard to say who's happier: "You and I are lucky to have found each other, Boy!" says Mr. Miller. The warmth and humor of newcomer Boase's polished prose revitalizes what might otherwise seem a predictable tale, and her sepia pencil drawings underscore the simplicity of her theme. The softly shaded and cross-hatched lines convey the story's innate tenderness. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Lucky Boy is an appealing fox terrier who isn't so lucky as the story begins. Neglected by his busy family, Boy (as in "Here, Boy" or "Down, Boy") is bored by his unchanging surroundings. When the little brown dog digs a hole under the fence, he encounters the lonely widower next door, who cleans him up and discovers that he's actually white. The pup lifts the old man's spirits and makes him laugh, thus earning his new name, Lucky Boy. Though he's only escaped next door, the oblivious family doesn't catch on, and are frankly relieved to have gotten rid of him. The author tries to sugarcoat the family's neglectful treatment, indeed, abuse of the animal, and this is too serious an issue to be treated so lightly. Their behavior is never directly confronted or condemned. Boase's expressive pencil illustrations are a delight, and completely capture the nature, joy, and essence of Lucky Boy. The art is reminiscent of Gabrielle Vincent's splendid drawings for A Day, A Dog (Front St., 2000). Unfortunately, even such wonderful pictures and a happy ending cannot compensate for the tale's failures.-Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.