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White Fur Flying

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  560 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. There is always the sweet smell of dog and a warm body looking to cuddle or play. There is always a new dog to be saved and loved. Fur flies everywhere. It covers everything. Zoe’s house is never silent.

But the house across the street is always silent these days. A new family has moved in and Phillip, the boy, has stopped speaking. He doe
Hardcover, 116 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Red Dot 2014: Older Readers: LONG LIST
21st out of 55 books — 11 voters
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Middle Grade Novels of 2013
230th out of 341 books — 611 voters

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Community Reviews

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I'm a big fan of Patricia MacLachlan's spare kid-friendly style. Her Word After Word After Word inspired some of the most beautiful writing I've ever seen from fourth graders. White Fur Flying ranks right up there with it.

Zoe and Alice's parents are a vet and a dog rescuer. Their mom rescues Great Pyrenees dogs (very large, very furry, very white), so there is always white fur flying in their house. When new neighbors move in, the girls quickly learn that Phillip, age 9, won't talk. Ever. He's
Teresa Bateman
What can you say? It's Patricia MacLachlan. Zoe, Alice, and their parents live in a rural area. Dad's a vet and Mom rescues Great Pyrenees dogs. Their house tends to have fur in the corners and all but their main dog come and go. Then new neighbors arrive--a young boy who doesn't speak and his aunt and uncle who are stiff and seem completely opposite to Zoe's family. However, as with most MacLachlan books, there is more to everyone than meets the eye. This is a simple, easy chapter book with ful ...more
Some authors seem to have a gift for telling a story with depth and heart using a surprisingly few words. MacLachlan has proven herself to be one of those kinds of authors. I know when I pick up one of her books that I will feel good when I finish it. And White Fur Flying is no exception.

Zoe, a young girl with a heart sensitive to the feelings of others, tells the story about the dogs and the boy and her family. Zoe's family rescues Great Pyrenees dogs. When a young boy moves in next door who d
S Farneth
White Fur Flying
Patricia MacLachlan

Dog lovers beware, this book will get you hooked. White Fur Flying is a good read for that budding dog lover who needs a chapter book but isn’t quite ready for the older intermediate level.

Zoe’s family rescues dogs and there are always dogs to be rescued. But in a turn of events, it’s a dog that does the rescuing. After a family moves in across the street with a little boy who doesn’t talk, it takes a special kind of a dog to take on the job of helping young P
I'm sorry to say I didn't love this one. It's well-written in MacLachlan's positively inimitable, condensed style. I love the idea of a family who rescues Great Pyrs (Pyrenees). They're huge, comical beasts. However, when a mute boy moves in next door with his seemingly taciturn aunt, I had a feeling the story (and disability) would be wrapped up too easily. It's a nice story, and PM's books have great appeal from early readers to the elderly.
Ruth Ann
Zoe is the older sister in this summer break story about dogs! Her dad is a vet and her mom takes in dogs in need of temporary homes. Her younger sister, Alice, is ten, and is a dramatic storyteller who always seems to know the absolute truth about people. They live in a house in the country with their dog, Kodi, and usually one or two other dogs. Their yard is very large and fenced which gives the dogs a safe place to run around in. Horses and cows roam the fields nearby - the dogs like that!
Silence can mean lots of different things, probably more than one's own experiences could ever lead one to accurately guess. Love can be silent, when the feelings rising within are so overwhelming that no phonetic symbols do it justice, so remaining quiet is the best way to show that love. Anger can be silent, a glowing coal scorching the soul, slowly burning wrath directed at an individual or philosophy or precept. Worry can be silent, when we don't know what to say to calm the dizzying swirl ...more
What a sweet, sweet story about how unconditional love (from pets, and from family, too) makes you able to overcome everything. I loved the character development in the children, but also in the secondary characters, like Phyllis. You won't find any two-dimensional cardboard-cutout background characters here!
Patricia Maclachlin wins it in the sparse accessible prose department and kids should enjoy this book whether it is read aloud to them or if they tackle it themselves. The Cassidy family watches as a moving truck unloads elegant furniture at the house next door. Soon they learn that the couple moving in are taking care of a little boy, Philip, who doesn't talk - at all. The Cassidy's also foster dogs and soon, their lives and the new neighbour's collide in an unexpected way when a new dog comes ...more
Zoe's family takes in rescued dogs, specifically Great Pyrenees - "140 pounds of white fur." They keep them until the day they can find a family who will adopt them. As the story begins, people are moving in next door. As Zoe and Alice observe, they see a fastidious woman with spotless furniture, a man in a jacket and tie and a small boy. "Not a prince," Alice said. "A prisoner."

It seems the boy, Phillip, is here because "Something sad is happening at his home for him to be with Phyllis and Mr.
I liked this quite a lot until the end. There is nothing astonishingly wonderful, but it is plessant to read a cleanly-written story about a nice, relatively normal family (all eccentricities are good ones). When Philip, the boy who did not speak, arrives with his great aunt and uncle I figured there would be a great unveiling at the end to explain his silence. There was a great unveiling, with hail and everything--but I found it incomplete and unsatisfying. If every kid whose parents had "troub ...more
White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan
Margaret K. McElderry, 2013
Realistic Fiction
116 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

This is the fourth 2013 book I've read where we have a nonspeaking boy character. Just something I noticed.

The Cassidy family loves animals; Dad is a vet, Mom is passionate about opening their house to rescue and foster Great Pyrenees dogs and sisters Alice and Zoe care deeply for reach creature brought into their home.

When a new boy, Philip, moves in next door Alice and Zoe befr
The storm changes everything. That night, with thunder booming, lightning flashing, and hail raining down from the sky, Phillip goes outside to find Jack. Zoe follows them, knowing that both had been left behind before, and vowing that she would not let it happen again. She would not leave them alone out here, even if it meant putting herself in danger.

Before the storm, young Zoe lives a mostly normal life in a house full of rescue dogs. Even though there is always dog hair and disorder, Zoe lov
Ms. Yingling
Zoe's family takes in Great Pyrenees dogs when they need to be fostered, and the dogs add to the warm chaos of the home. When Phillip moves in to the house next door to be with his aunt and uncle because his parents are having troubles, he is drawn to the dogs. Phillip doesn't speak, but this doesn't stop Zoe's sister Alice, an inveterate story teller, from befriending him. Phillip's aunt is very cold and controlled, and doesn't understand the boy, although he gets along well enough with Zoe's f ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
White Fur Flying is a wonderful middle grade read about friendship, love, and learning to trust. It's a heart warming story about family, and friends both human and of the fur kind. I loved the family dynamics and this story. Zoe hails from a close knit family. Her Mom rescues great Pyrenees dogs, her dad is a vet, and she and her sister Alice do whatever they can to help out with the craziness of it all.

The story centers around Zoe and her family, and the recent activity that's taken place at
The Cassidy family is filled with dog lovers. Their father works as a veterinarian, and their mother provides a foster home for Great Pyrenees until they can find their forever homes. When a new family moves in next door, it's clear that their animal-loving lifestyle is foreign to the Crofts. But Phillip, the sad boy who is staying with them while his parents work out their differences, is drawn to Kodi, and Kodi is drawn to him. Although he doesn't speak to humans, he does speak to Kodi. The st ...more
Great Pyrenees are beautiful dogs. I'm sure I would drown in the shed hair if I owned one, but boy, they are gorgeous. Zoe's family would agree with me. Her mother rescues Great Pyrs and adopts them out to new homes--except Kodi, who is a family pet.

When a new family moves into the nearest house (the only one they can see from their home, as a matter of fact), the girls are happy to see there is someone near their age. But Phillip doesn't talk, and his aunt and uncle aren't too friendly. Good t
Beth Nieman
Sweet little story about a family who rescues dogs (dad is a veterinarian). When a new boy--who doesn't ever talk--moves in next door, the kids instinctively know that helping him make friends with a rescue dog is the way to get him to open up. Happy story, gentle read, with a tense interlude as some of the characters get lost in a storm. The plot is well-constructed and the story would be great for classroom discussion.
Buzzwords: Dogs/animals, family, voluntary-muteness, understanding, rescue.

A very quick, easy book for children (easy chapter book, geared for grades 2-5, I think). This is geared towards a younger group than the average book I read, so the length of the book - and thus, the speed at which things happened - was very noticeable to me, but I thought Ms. MacLachlan did a good job with character and plot development.
Two quotes I particularly liked:

- "'I'm a writer,' said Alice.
'Kind of like a spy,'
Excellent. This a gem of a book and I want to use it for my 4th/5th grade bookclub next year. Great story about a family where the Dad is a vet, the Mom rescues dogs and the girls, Alice and Zoe, take it all in.

The story focuses on what happens when a new family rents the house next door. This new family consists of a couple that is watching their nephew because his parents are "having trouble". The trouble is never explained but is it ever to children this age? The boy, Phillip, doesn't speak
A beautifully written chapter book, in MacLachlan's warm style. Each word seems carefully chosen and just right to convey the sentiment of the story. This one falls into the genre of dogs who help humans (recover emotionally) and there is a gentle patience in the characters that I liked. An MCBA nominee this year, very nice for 3rd and 4th graders.
I enjoyed this latest MacLachlan book that is part mystery, part realistic fiction. I have never had a dog - but I could appreciate the love this family has for rescuing Pyrenees dogs. That's where the name - "White Fur Flying" - comes from. If you have ever had a long-haired, white dog I am sure it will make sense! Mom resuces dogs; dads a vet and the two daughters help out. Zoe is 10; Alice is her sister and I'm not sure how old she is - maybe eight? Alice is a storyteller and poet. Zoe, it se ...more
This short and simple WAW possibility was a little too short and simple for me. It was about Zoe, whose mom rescues Pyrnees dogs and finds families to adopt them. A boy moves in next to their house and he has stopped speaking until he gets rescued by one of the dogs. Then he adopts the dog. Just not enough content for me. So this is a no vote.
This is a very quick read with a lot of heart. The family who rescues Pyrenees dogs is a tight knight and nice family. When their new neighbors show up with a boy that doesn't talk, the dogs (and the family) help do what no one else can. This is one book of MacLachlan's that has heart, strong characters, a climatic scene, and a nice resolution.
• A very nice little story about a sad little boy and a rescue dog who need each other.
• It also includes the principal family that takes care of rescue dogs and apparently any other animal (the father is a vet, the mom is the dog rescuer).
• An extremely fast read for an adult – about 15 minutes.
Loved this book. I particularly like the storytelling and journaling that was modeled. Wonderful story. I thought he characters in the main family were very realistic and easy to relate to. Interesting to note that the author used a storm to bring about the changes in the conclusion of the story just as she did in Sarah Plain and Tall
Meghan M.
I LOVE THIS BOOK!! I really liked it I thought it was amazing! But I had a lot of questions that where not answered. Some of the questions are why didn't Phillip talk, and what is Phillips parents problem? I'm wondering if these questions can ever be answered. I think it would of made the book WAY better if the questions where answered!
Aug 30, 2014 Amy added it
Shelves: book-club
Previewed for book club: Seems like it would be a good choice for book club. A boy with selective mutism rescues a dog and that helps him talk. Breed rescue volunteers, etc. I felt the family was was too gossipy and meddlesome about the neighbors so that would be another issue to discuss.
Stephanie Jewett
Read this to see if it would make a good "Great Reads for Girls" selection. I think it's a little slight for that (but I still may decide to use it), but I enjoyed it anyway. MacLachlan has such a way with words that she doesn't need very many to tell a sweet, moving story, which is what this is.
Claudia  Fett
Patricia MacLachlan does it again. This carefully crafted book is beautifully written and will quickly pull the reader into the engrossing story. Animal lovers, kids who love realistic fiction, and reluctant readers will find this book a must read. The family of a veterinarian rescues Great Pyrenees dogs. One day a family, with carefully preserved furniture, moves into the house next door. The two girls from the rescue family lament that it sure doesn't look as if there are any pets coming along ...more
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Patricia MacLachlan is a bestselling U.S. children's author, best known for winning the 1986 Newbery Medal for her book Sarah, Plain and Tall.

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More about Patricia MacLachlan...
Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1) Skylark (Sarah, Plain and Tall #2) Waiting for the Magic Caleb's Story (Sarah, Plain and Tall #3) All the Places to Love

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“Sometimes you think you know more than you really do—people, events, things that are true and things that are not. Sometimes you think you know yourself. But then, surprise, it is someone else who shows you what is really there, like the truth a photograph shows.” 0 likes
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