Cover image for Dog days
Dog days
Lubar, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Plain City, OH : Darby Creek Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
78 pages ; 20 cm
Larry is enjoying the summer, playing baseball and taking care of the stray dogs he's brought home. Then his brother Paul finds another stray in an alley under mysterious circumstances, but the dog won't come home with them. When the price of dog food rises and the price paid for scrap falls, Larry has to find a new way to feed his dogs and try to help the dog from the alley.
Reading Level:
Ages 10 and up.

630 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.8 1.0 75506.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 3.4 5 Quiz: 35263 Guided reading level: Q.
Format :


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

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David Lubar (Dunk, Hidden Talents) fills a tender niche for families and educators alike. Protagonist Larry Haskins loves three things more than anything on earth-his rescued dogs, the game of baseball, and his six-year-old little brother Paul. But times are tough, odd jobs are hard to come by, and kibble isn't free. How will he feed and place his homeless canines if his luck and his savings run out?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. The dog days of summer aren't lazy ones for Larry Haskins. He's busy playing baseball and caring for three stray dogs. He raises money for dog food by collecting aluminum cans and newspapers and seeking odd jobs. Larry strikes out when dog food prices rise, scrap yard prices drop, and a promised paper route falls through. Meanwhile, a red-stained alley wall and a growling stray make Larry's younger brother fear there's been a death. Larry solves the slight mystery by discovering an innocent reason for the stains, which leads to a satisfying solution to his money problems. Lubar's trademark humor is missing, and the comparison between the wandering dog and the wandering boy is forced. The baseball scenes are solid hits, however, and children learning about similies will get some exposure (In the bowls, the chunks of dry food disappeared like coins in a magician's hands ). Give this to dog fans not quite ready for Phyllis Naylor's Shiloh (1991); they'll appreciate Larry's perseverance and empathy. --Cindy Dobrez Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

As Lubar's (Dunk) brief, disappointing tale of one boy's summer begins, outfielder Larry misses a catch to make the game-ending third out-because his six-year-old brother calls to him, "Someone needs help." Paul leads Larry to an alley where a mysterious red stain covers the wall, and a growling stray appears to be guarding the spot. "Besides baseball, there wasn't anything in the world [Larry] liked as much as dogs." And dogs love Larry, who takes in many a stray until he can find them homes, so he can't understand the alley dog's reaction. The protagonist becomes intrigued when new red stains start appearing on the wall and the dog continues to growl at him emphatically. While unraveling the puzzle, Larry discovers a way to tackle his two biggest problems, rising dog food prices for his homeless brood and losing the paper route he'd been promised. The tale feels sketchy, compared with Lubar's previous novels. Even the relationship between Larry and Paul, the only characters with any development here, seems unrealistic. Readers might believe that Paul would interrupt Larry at a pivotal moment on the field once, but twice (while Larry's at bat with a full count and the perfect pitch is about to come over the plate)? And his friends never comment on Larry's sabotage of their games. Fans of baseball and dogs will likely feel that they don't get to see enough of either to hold their interest. Ages 9-14. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Larry is spending the summer doing his two favorite things-playing baseball and taking care of the dogs he finds and brings home. Then his younger brother discovers a mysterious red mark on the wall of an alley and worries that it is blood. While they are investigating the alley, the brothers come across another stray but this one won't let Larry get close to it. Meanwhile, he discovers that the price of dog food has gone up and worries about having enough money to feed the animals in his care. By solving the mystery in the alley, Larry is able to find a way to feed the animals and also figures out how to approach the stray and take it home. The suspense in this easy-to-read chapter book will carry readers through to the end. The relationship between the brothers is warmly depicted, as Larry looks out for and spends time with Paul. A good transition novel for young readers on to chapter books.-Kristina Aaronson, Henniker Community School, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.