Nan’s Notes: The Leanin’ Dog

leanin dog

  • by K.A. Nuzum
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Pub. Date: September 2008
  • Age Range: 8 to 12
  • 250pp

DCF Nominee

Synopsis: (From K.A. Nuzum’s website)
In the snow-covered Colorado mountains, it’s coming on Christmas. But eleven-year-old Dessa Dean has just about given up on ever being happy again. Her hardworking father can’t possibly fill the huge hole in her heart that her mother’s tragic death has left. Mama was her teacher, protector, confidant, and closest friend. But then, when hope has just about run out, a dog – huge and fudge-colored from head to toe – bounds into Dessa Dean’s life, changing it forever.
Nan’s Notes:
It took me 2 weeks to read this short novel written for grades 5 and up. When I saw the cover with the tag line,  “Angels are everywhere,” I thought that I was going to LOVE this book. I was so disappointed when I had a tough time getting into the book and connecting with Dessa Dean, the main character. I don’t know what made it so difficult for me to connect and get into the book. The book was told in first person, through Dessa Dean’s eyes, but it felt distant to me.
Then, I finally started to get pulled in. Chapter 22  in the book had the dog trying to get Dessa Dean to play with her. The author’s description of the dog initiating play was perfect!
I finished the book last night and I had intially thought once I put it down, I wouldn’t be thinking about it anymore. But, I keep finding myself thinking back on different parts of the book. Maybe I was more connected to it than I thought?
I don’t feel comfortable giving it a rating yet. This might be a book that I appreciate more as time goes on.  Out of the 5 DCF nominated books that I’ve read so far this year, it is my least favorite. I’m curious if that will change as the story simmers a bit longer.
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3 Responses

  1. That is interesting that you keep thinking about it after you read it. Maybe it’s a book you need to savor. I’m not sure that’s all that great for kids, though.

  2. If it hadn’t been a DCF nominated book I wouldn’t have kept pushing myself through it. I am just so stubborn and I want to be able to say I read all the nominees. The second half was better than the first half, but the first half was just so slow for me.

  3. I think I’d like to read this book. I’ll keep in mind it might be a bit hard to get into, and wait for the dog to show up!

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