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|Dog called Homeless|
Author: Lean, Sarah
Cally stops talking, partly because her father & brother never speak of her mother's recent death, but friendships with a homeless man & a disabled boy ensure she still communicates.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 156255
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 59798
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/12)
School Library Journal (12/01/12)
Booklist (+) (09/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/12)
The Hornbook (00/09/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/02/2012 *Starred Review* A year after her mother’s death, fifth-grader Cally Fisher has started seeing her mom everywhere, though her family thinks she is imagining things. Meanwhile, she keeps getting in trouble at school, her best friend has dumped her, and her home life has been tough. Her once-lively father is distracted and withdrawn, and Luke, her brother, spends his time perpetually playing video games. But when Cally signs up for a sponsored silence school charity fund-raiser, she discovers not speaking has its challenges but its rewards as well, and she decides to continue her silence after the event is over. Life takes another turn when her family has to move for financial reasons, and she meets neighbor boy Sam, who is blind and mostly deaf; Jed, a kindly homeless man; and a large silver-gray dog that she often sees with both Jed and her mother. Progressively, her experiences with each transform her life—and the lives of others—in unexpected ways. This beautifully written, compelling debut offers an insightful portrayal of grief and healing. Cally is a deeply drawn protagonist whose first-person account eloquently relays poignant and powerfully affecting moments. Vivid supporting characters add depth, especially spirited, sensitive Sam, who not only embodies the meaning of friendship and family but also reinforces the value of connection, communication, and compassion in bringing hearts and lives together. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2012 Middle-grader Cally Fisher has decided to stop speaking altogether, in reaction to her father’s refusal to discuss her mother, who passed away last year. She finds a friend in a neighbor boy Sam, who is blind and nearly deaf and with whom she learns to communicate using tactile fingerspelling (which doesn’t, as far as she’s concerned, break her vow of silence). She also befriends Jed, a homeless man, and his dog, whom she dubs “Homeless” and whom she often sees in the company of the spirit of her dead mother. As time goes on, Cally becomes convinced that if she begins to speak again, the visions of her mother will disappear forever, but her attempt to save a near-drowning Sam requires that she shout for help. Additionally, Jed reveals that Homeless was actually a gift for Cally that her mother was bringing home, and that Cally’s mother made Jed promise to find Cally and give the dog to her. The story is thus brought to a satisfying, if contrived, resolution, as Cally resumes talking, the family begins healing, and Homeless finds a home. The number of plot conveniences ultimately strains credulity, from Cally’s instant friendship with Sam to Jed’s surprise announcement about Homeless, and many of the characters are rather two-dimensional. Still, the heartbreak of losing a parent is palpably portrayed, and the slightly supernatural aspect of Cally’s dead mother and her connection with the dog Homeless is intriguing and well drawn. This might also be a useful title to introduce kids to deafblind communication. JH - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2012 Gr 4–7—Cally Fisher hasn't spoken for 31 days. As she explains in the prologue, "Talking doesn't always make things happen, however much you want it to." She knows that talking won't bring her mother back to life or keep her dad from selling their home in exchange for a small apartment so what's the point in saying anything. But when her mother appears one day wearing a bright red raincoat and the only other soul that sees her is a big scraggly dog, the girl knows she must find a way to convince her father that the dog is the only thing connecting them to her mother. But her father's growing depression continues to separate the family and Cally struggles to keep her mother from becoming a distant memory. When she meets Sam, who lives downstairs, the friendship that forms between the blind boy and silent girl manages to reunite a family, and each character benefits from the bond. Truly a lesson in the power of love and loss, this story shows that learning how to listen is more important than what's being said. This is a thought-provoking story that will speak to readers of all ages.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.