There are two things that everyone here at BookTrib universally loves: books and dogs. We’re definitely a dog-friendly office, with our favorite little chihuahua, Lucy, popping by regularly. So when our two loves come together in the form of books about dogs, consider us happy campers.
Seriously though, there’s just something about dog stories that always tug at our heartstrings. Picture that final moment in Homeward Bound where the pets come galloping up over the hill, and just try not to cry. It’s actually impossible.
Here are five dog stories from 2016 that are guaranteed to warm your heart:
Say Goodbye for Now, Catherine Ryan Hyde (Lake Union Publishing, December 13, 2016)
Set in 1959, this novel tells the story of Dr. Lucy, a woman who’s devoted to treating injured and abandoned animals near her Texas ranch. Her world opens up when two boys, Justin Bell and Pete Solomon, bring her an injured dog/wolf. Pete has been abused by his father and is looking for some sort of sense of family. Justin and his father, Calvin, both African American, have just moved to town. But when Calvin and Lucy start to fall for each other, their bigoted society and segregation laws threaten to rip them apart. As this makeshift family becomes closer, they each have to work to find the courage to fight for what they want.
Earnest, Kristin Von Kreisler (Kensington, January 26, 2016)
When Anna and Jeff adopt Earnest, a big yellow Labrador, their little family seems complete. The boyfriend/girlfriend couple is happy with their life on Gamble Island, where Anna has a flower shop and Jeff works as an architect. But when they have a disagreement over an old property, the two are at irreconcilable odds. It’s their love for Earnest that keeps them bonded together, even as they have to decide if their future is truly with one another.
WoofiLeaks: Your Dog’s Secrets Revealed, John Emmerling (Water Bowl Publishing LLC, October 4, 2016)
Did you ever wonder why your dog chases after tennis balls? Or how he feels about animals at the zoo? Well, Max — the main character of Emmerling’s illustrated guide — is here to answer those questions and more. Funny, heartfelt and just a little bit tongue-in-cheek, this book is suitable for any dog lover out there, both kids and adults. If you’ve ever been curious about dog secrets, then WoofiLeaks is the book for you.
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books, October 18, 2016)
Christmas may be long over, but that doesn’t negate the cuteness of Rosenfelt’s mystery novel (just look at that cover!). The Twelve Dogs of Christmas is part of Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series, about an intelligent New Jersey lawyer who just happens to love dogs. In his latest adventure, Carpenter is defending his friend Martha “Pups” Boyer who rescues stray and unwanted puppies. When she gets reported for having too many pets, Carpenter is on the case. But when the neighbor who reported Martha suddenly turns up dead, his case gets a lot more complicated – and potentially deadly.
Jonathan Unleashed, Meg Rosoff (Viking, July 5, 2016)
Jonathan Trefoil’s life is going nowhere. His girlfriend is dull and clearly not that interested in him. He hates his job. And he’s trying very hard to be an ‘adult.’ But everything changes when he agrees to look after his brother’s two dogs while he’s away for work. The dogs, Sissy and Dante, become a key part of Jonathan’s world, especially when he starts to wonder if maybe they’re actually the ones in charge. Hilarious and meaningful, this story dives deep into Jonathan’s psyche — and the two pets that are the catalyst for him finally growing up.