J FICTION (Grades 2 & 3)
The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler
Buddy is a golden retriever detective. His family goes missing and he ends up in the pound until another family adopts him. Buddy uses his sleuthing skills to solve several mysteries. 123 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Buddy Files series.)
My Dog, My Hero by Betsy Byars
These stories are about eight incredible dogs which are competing for the My Hero award. 47 pgs.
Absolutely Lucy by Ilene Cooper
Bobby is shy and has trouble making friends until he receives a beagle puppy named Lucy for his eighth birthday. Lucy is lively and fun and she helps him develop new relationships. 76 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Absolutely Lucy series.)
The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith L
Seven-year-old Janie invents an imaginary pet when her parents cannot afford a real one. She faithfully feeds the “invisible” Henry his invisible dog chow and walks him with an old leash until fate brings Henry to life. 73 pgs.
Labracadabra by Jessie Nelson & Karen Leigh Hopkins
Zach is given a funny-looking mixed breed dog named Larry. When Larry twirls his extra-long tail, Labracadabra! amazing things happen. 36 pgs.
Smarter Than Squirrels by Lucy Nolan
The adventures of a dog who thinks her name is Down Girl and her neighbor, Sit, as they try to keep the world safe from dangerous squirrels and a frightening creature named Here Kitty Kitty. 64 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Down Girl and Sit series.)
The Rosie Stories by Cynthia Voigt
Rosie is a dog who loves to eat. She waits for breakfast, gets into the garbage can at lunch, and tries to join along with her family as they watch an exercise video. 48 pgs.
Silver by Gloria Whelan
Even though Silver is the runt of the litter, 10-year-old Rachel plans to train her to be a champion sled-dog racer. 58 pgs.
J FICTION (Grades 3-6)
Sounder by William Howard Armstrong A P L
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding with the help of his devoted dog, Sounder. This book won the 1970 Newbery Award. 116 pgs.
The Good Dog by Avi A L
McKinley, a malamute, is torn between the domestic world of his human family and the wild world of Lupin, a wolf that is trying to recruit dogs to replenish the dwindling wolf pack. 243 pgs.
Because of Winn-Dixieby Kate DiCamillo A eA L
Good things happen to India Opal Buloni during her first summer in a small Florida town because of her big, ugly dog, Winn-Dixie. 182 pgs.
The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin
J.J. Tully, retired search-and-rescue dog, uses his detective skills to unravel a case involving some missing chickens. 119 pgs.
Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan A P
Bruce and Andi decide to house stray dogs in the abandoned house next door. Will they be able to keep this a secret from their family? 178 pgs.
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog
by John R. Erickson
Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security, is framed for the murder of a chicken and becomes an outlaw with the coyotes. 127 pgs. (Look for other titles in the Hank the Cowdog series)
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes A L
Ginger is the Pye family’s puppy who mysteriously disappears in this 1952 Newbery Award-winning story. 306 pgs.
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson A
A powerful story set in the Texas hill country about a 14-year-old boy and the ugly stray dog he comes to love. The boy, Travis, must deal with loss and the realities of growing up. 158 pgs.
Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight L
A classic story about a boy and his loyal dog in Yorkshire, England. Lassie undertakes an incredible journey to be reunited with her beloved owner Joe. 248 pgs. (See also a shorter, picture-book version of this title adapted by Rosemary Wells found at J WELLS.)
Call of the Wild by Jack London A P eA L
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack. 133 pgs.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor A eA L
Marty finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home. He tries to hide Shiloh from his family and the dog’s real owner, a mean-spirited man known to mistreat his dogs. 144 pgs. (Look for the sequels: Shiloh Season and Saving Shiloh.)
Hachiko Waits by Lesléa Newman A
Based on a true story, Hachiko the loyal akita waits every day at a Japanese train station for his master’s return. His master dies while at work, but Hachiko continues to wait faithfully for years at the station. 96 pgs.
Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing)
by Alison McGhee A P
Nine-year-old Julia explores her Minneapolis neighborhood with her beloved dog, Bigfoot. She also has to decide whether or not to finish reading a dog book with a potentially sad ending. 280 pgs. (Look for other books featuring Julia Gillian.)
A Dog’s Way Homeby Bobbie Pyron
Eleven-year-old Abby and her sheltie, Tam, are agility champions. A terrible car accident on the way home from a competition separates them, and Tam must make the long journey to find Abby. 321 pgs.
Where the Red Fern Grows: The Story of Two Dogs and a Boy by Wilson Rawls A L
Billy’s coonhounds Old Dan and Little Ann are the finest hunting team in the Ozarks. They win the annual coonhunting competition, but then tragedy strikes. This classic story shows the deep bond between dogs and their human. 249 pgs.
Smart Dog by Vivian Vande Velde
Amy’s life gets very complicated when she meets and tries to hide Sherlock, an intelligent, talking dog who has escaped from a university lab. 146 pgs.
JH FICTION (Grades 6-8)
Fire, Bed & Boneby Henrietta Branford
Long ago in England, a hunting dog recounts what happens to his beloved master, Rufus, and his family when they are arrested on suspicion of participating in the 1381 peasants’ rebellion.
Bigger by Patricia Calvert
When his father disappears near the Mexican border during the Civil War, 12-year-old Tyler decides to go after him. On the journey he acquires a strange dog which he names Bigger. Will his father want to return home? 137 pgs. (Also look for the sequel: Sooner.)
Last Dog on Earth by Daniel Ehrenhaft
Logan and his dog, Jack, are key players in an effort to find a cure for a mysterious illness that is killing most of the dogs on the West Coast. 230 pgs.
Canine Connection: Stories About Dogs and People by Betsy Hearne
Dog and human lives intertwine in twelve short stories that explore the bonds people have with dogs. 113 pgs.
Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West With Lewis & Clark by Gail Karwoski
Based on a true story, this novel tells the tale of Seaman, a Newfoundland dog. He proves his value as a hunter, navigator, and protector on the Lewis & Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. 183 pgs.
Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes
Twelve-year-old Fanny has a love-hate relationship with her father, a temperamental artist. When her father gives Fanny a dog, things get more complicated. 195 pgs.
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin A
Squirrel, a stray dog, is separated from her family as a puppy. She faces the challenges of making her own way in the world and dealing with both kind and brutal humans. 182 pgs. (Look for the companion book: Everything for a Dog.)
Letters From Wolfie by Patti Sherlock
After he donates his German shepherd, Wolfie, to the Army’s scout program in Vietnam, thirteen-year-old Mark starts to question the war and what is happening with the dogs. Will Wolfie be able to return? 228 pgs.
Rascal: A Dog and His Boy by Ken Wells
Rascal the beagle and his boy Meely explore the delights of hunting and fishing in the Louisiana bayou. When Meely is trapped on a rotting bridge, it’s up to Rascal to save him. 201 pgs.