I just finished reading Joseph Monninger’s 275 page realistic fiction novel published on September 1, 2015. I read this book because I was looking for a book and it seemed like a really good book. Joseph Monninger has published fourteen novels and three non-fiction books. He grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and attended Temple University on a football scholarship. He lives near New Hampshire’s Baker River. And for several years his family competed in the New England Sled Dog sprint races and ran a small sled dog business in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I really liked this book I thought it was a great story about a dog and it had a lot of description. This book is about a girl named Clair, her neighbor Danny Stewart and his dog Wally.
Ever since they got Wally the Stewart’s have abused him. They leave him outside all the time and barely feed him. Clair Taylor watches it all and listen to him whine through the nights. Clair is tired of it and decides it is time to help him out. She goes to the Stewards and asks to take Wally for a walk. She feeds him a sausage then let’s him go from the chains connecting him to a big pole keeping him in the yard. Wally goes nuts. He drags her through the yard getting her covered with mud and muck. Clair is about to give up but she know Wally has a chance and he was never trained. The next day on her way home from school Clair looks over at the Stewart’s yard and it’s all cleaned up and so is Wally. She goes over to Wally and Danny comes out. He asks Clair to help him train Wally. She has never liked Danny but she accepts because she wants to help Wally and they start to train Wally simple commands like sit and stay and then try to teach him how to come. One night while training Wally something happens that might change their new friendship forever.
I was very surprised which Clair’s reaction when she first went over to Wally because she got really upset with the way he reacted because he was excited to finally be let off the leash but he didn’t know what was going on went crazy and Clair expected him to be a little bit calmer. I liked how used specific nouns and I wish the author described things in a little more detail because sometimes it goes from one scene and all of a sudden it’s another.
Finally, I was interested in this passage on page 42 and 43, when Wally is all cleaned up and Clair finds out about what Danny did.
“He looks better right?” Danny asked.
No introduction, no hello, no how are you, no what’s new? He simply walked out and started talking. For the first time I noticed Danny’s sideburns had grown out. They were long and shaped like to snow shovels on either side of his head. I couldn’t tell what look he was going for. It was half greaser, half rockabilly, but it made him more interesting.
“You did this” I asked.
“I only go half days to the tech. I saw you out here the other day. It would have been funny it hadn’t been so sad.”
“It wouldn’t have been funny if you had kept the dog decently to begin with.”
“It’s not a perfect world.”
“It can be a better world.”
I like this passage because it show a little bit about how Danny changed and started to be responsible for Wally and soon became friends with Clair. I would give this book an 8 out of 10 because I really liked it but it’s not my absolute favorite but it was really good.