Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sheep” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,145 Ratings  ·  188 Reviews
The sheep closed in around him like a big, woolly blanket. The puppy had never been so scared or so excited in his life. Soon he was racing, feinting, dodging—learning what it means to be one of the proud breed of Border collies, the finest sheepherders in the world. Then, almost overnight, his life is turned upside down. He finds himself in a series of strange places, w
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Square Fish (first published March 21st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Amanda Yeargin
I decided to read Sheep as a IR Book. Basically this sheep dog has the most wonderful home until he hears rumors about selling. He doesnt know what that is at first but he soon will find out. All he does is want to go home. He finds himself wondering cities and getting new names but still trying to find his old home. Do you think he will ever find a right home or the one he got sold from. Read the book to find out.
One connection i have is a text-to-world connection. I have this connection beca
Sep 21, 2008 Shannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fourth/Fifth Graders
Recommended to Shannon by: Nominee of the California Young Reader Medal
I read this book aloud to my students. This book is in first person from the dog's perspective. It is a bit heavier than you might think. Most of the book is very sad, as you would expect from a book about a homeless dog. The students seemed to enjoy it, and the ending is quite wonderful. I would recommend it to children in fourth or fifth grade who are wanting something with more depth.

My students just voted this book their favorite of the books nominated for the California Young Reader Award.
Sep 05, 2008 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cleverly written, pleasant journey of a knocked-around border collie. The first-person voice actually sounds like one of this breed! I've read it aloud to two of my children's school classes. Every child was captivated and entertained, all the while relating to the poor dog's circumstances. I think it was a great way to bring themes of abandonment, disappointment, hope, shame, ridicule, love, and family, down to the level of young children - who certainly feel those emotions, even if t ...more
Levi Mohr
Nov 20, 2016 Levi Mohr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a bout a dog who is separated from his family and his sheep. This is a very good book. The author did a good job of making it interesting but not too long and boring. I liked how I could understand what was happening and I also liked the story line. I did not like how some parts that could have been more detailed were not. I also did not like how there were two large spots that lacked suspense. But the ending was pretty good. I think the author did a great job and its a great book.
Tiffany Chung
Jack just ran away from the circus fire. He ran and ran. Jack saved a boy's life. Luke the boy gave jack a piece of pizza and they went to Luke's house. Luke is an orphan. If I was jack I would be happy that I escaped from the cruel circus owner. I would also feel happy for Luke, because Jack saved Lukes life.
Caitlin Vaille
This is a super cute book, but I couldn't take it completely seriously since it is written from the perspective of a dog. That is the point of course. It's definitely more of a children's book, so it was quite easy to read. I liked it, but it didn't blow my socks off by any means
10-11 Jonathan
The book sheep was a kind of sad and funny. I recomend this book to all that like funny and sad books.
Ryan Callahan
Jul 07, 2015 Ryan Callahan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked how happy it was at the beginning, towards the middle it turns out so, so sad. I did not quite like the middle. But at the end it turned happy again.
May 23, 2017 Abigail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It expressed hope and adventure as a dog with a purpose and a mission. Who learns how to love and live life the best way possible.
May 23, 2017 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A liitle diffrent than I thought but great story though.
Mar 06, 2017 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Fiction, Children's Chapter)

This chapter book for older children and adults, that tells the tale of a homeless border collie (his sheep farm burned) looking for a home, and an orphan, will pull your heart-strings.

It’s told from the point of view (mostly, as I remember) of the dog.

A great story that I’d like to read to my grandchildren.

There is a sequel called Wolf, which I’ve added to my reading list.

4 stars
Jacob Patterson
The summary for this book is about a sheepdog named Jack who lived on a ranch with his mom, dad, and brothers and sister. They're sold because the ranch burned down by fire and Jack was sent to a pet store. He gets adopted but runs away and meets all sorts of people. Goat man, theives, dog catchers, circus trainers and orphaned boys. He ends up finding a home with a little boy named Luke who gets adopted by a farmer and his wife. The main characters in this story were Jack, Luke, the Goat Man, A ...more
Apr 19, 2016 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book, ya-juvenile
**Actual Star Rating: 3.75**

This was an interesting book and one that seems to be filling up the lines of canine autobiography styles. Although Jack is a border collie and a smart one the author seemed unable to truly hit the emotional depth that a dog can be known for, especially when one usually bonds as deep as a border collie with its chosen owner.

Another thing that I didn't appreciate about the portrayal of Jack was the fact that he didn't seem like he was wise or smart until he received
Apr 04, 2011 Jonah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a dog named.... whell he has had a lot of names throught his life. In the bginning of the book he is with his family at a ranch and him and his family are sheep herding dogs. After a day of herding a truck comes and takes him to the pound. at the pound he meet a dog who tells him what the pound is and what happens there. one day a girl and her dad take him home. Once he learns that a home is a terrible place because u are locked up all day so he runs away. When he runs away he ...more
Gerron Butchcoe
“Sheep” is the story of a Border Collie whose life is turned upside down when he is sent away from his farm that he has known all his life. All he has ever wanted to do was be a sheep herder life his father before him and he will do whatever it takes to have that. He escapes the pound that he was in and begins his journey to try and find home again. He travels far and wide trying to find home and meeting some companions on the way. He travels with the goat man, homeless people and even gets caug ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Raven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book for my child who really likes sheep and dogs, despite not having much personal experience with either. As I picked up this book at a dollar store, and also because it is very short, I wasn't expecting much.

Also, I read it from the point of view of a parent. Is it objectionable? Is it worthwhile? Is it interesting? Is it something that will appeal to or have special meaning for this child in particular. (As it turns out my answers to all of these questions, except the first
Stacy Nyikos
Sheep is told from the viewpoint of Jack, a sheep dog. It chronicles the trials and troubles of his life that lead him away from the sheep ranch on which he was born through a variety of owners finally to a new home. I enjoyed reading a piece told from the viewpoint of an animal narrator, who knows his audience is human; however, the result seems one revision shy of ringing true.
There is a lot of showing, rather than telling. More disappointing, Jack comes across as off-putting. For instance, h
Dec 12, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Young Adult Novel / Fiction

This children’s novel is about a young border collie named Jack. After a fire destroys his farm where he was born, Jack sets out on a journey where he is picked up and cared for by a series of owners. In the process Jack learns about life and won't be content until he finds a truly loving and caring home where he can fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a sheep herder. Again, any book about a dog is going to be at the top of the list for myself. With the help
Apr 24, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, american
A beautiful book with a plot that is simple on the surface, Sheep touches on some very difficult subjects in a way that is easy for kids to digest. Love, loss, growing up and finding your way, finding meaning and place in life (and death), and learning how to treat others - it is all here. The book is written from a dog's point of view, so the prose is very simple and sometimes feels a little stilted. This means, though, that it is a book a young reader could pick up and handle on his or her own ...more
Jan 20, 2011 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
I love dogs, but this book felt like an exercise in point of view. Border collie Jack narrates, beginning with his happy and comfortable childhood on a farm. Jack is excited to have a purposeful life. He plans to follow in the footsteps of his sheepherding father, but things are turned upside down when a fire strikes the farm. In the same vein as DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Jack’s story becomes a series of adventures as he is shuffled from place to place, and from person ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathy by: Battle of the Books 2015
The sheep closed in around him like a big, woolly blanket. The
puppy had never been so scared or so excited in his life. Soon
he was racing, feinting, dodging - learning what it means to be
one of the proud breed of Border collies, the finest sheepherders
in the world. Then, almost overnight, his life is turned upside
down. He finds himself in a series of strange places, with no
sheep, his family gone. With nothing but the courage he was
born with and a dream, he searches for the life he once knew,
Aug 12, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it
Recommended to Teresa by: Robbin
First-dog narrative that lots of kids will enjoy--those who like dog stories and those who like orphan/hard luck stories (How to Steal a Dog, Waiting for Normal) but who aren't quite ready for Torey Hayden or "They Cage the Animals at Night", etc.

You get very invested in this guy's story, starting from his puppy confusion and adoration of his parents and Old Dex, the head herder.

Reminded me of one of my favorite books from childhood, "Beautiful Joe" by Saunders, which was published in 1893 and
Sheep illustrates the life and journey of dogs being sent from place-to-place; the breeder, to the pet store for the wait behind glass, and then, you either get taken home by a caring owner, or sent away with someone who will give you a worse home then the pet store. Then there's the unknowing of whether or not you will be a lucky pick, or end up waiting until you feel locked in the miserable box for the rest of your short life. And hopping, if you are picked, you are picked by someone who is go ...more
Samantha Fate
The story of a dog from a dog’s perspective, showing the life and hardships of a dog who goes from owner to owner just trying to find his sheep to herd. This is a great book that gets a reader engaged because we all want to know what is going to happen next to this great dog and you can envision everything that going on in the life of Jack, from figuring out that the goat man had passed to falling in love at the circus. This book may get people thinking about the dogs they see around them; I kno ...more
Madeline Anthony
Sep 23, 2013 Madeline Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you read this book you find yourself in Jack's place. Its like walking in his footsteps. You learn to love,hate,worship,and despise the characters all at once. When he came across whom he called The Goatman I found myself jumping for joy that he had a companion. I felt the opposite when Goatman closed his eyes and forever fell into a slumber. You feel what Jack feels, sorrow, loneliness, depression,and like you didnt belong. Jack went through some hard times, being beaten, starved, forced t ...more
Sep 16, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was a book i would deffinintly read again! The book Sheep is about a puppy that grows up in a place where there are many other dogs just like him and the leaders chose him to herd the sheep (which was always his dream.The next day when he wakes up he finds himself in a lonely place where there were no sheep to be found or his family.On his journy trying to find his way back home,he runs into a bunch of people that give him a bunch of different names A LOT different from his or ...more
Apr 03, 2010 Elizabeth☮ rated it liked it
this is a book told from the perspective of a pup named .... well, he has a lot of different names until he finds his rightful owner. he is training to heard sheep when his owner's farm catches on fire.

he finds himself taken away to a pet store, sold to a family with a young daughter. he travels through various owners before he befriends a young boy named luke. and this is when this dog's life changes.

this is a sweet little story and good for young kids - i'd say between the ages of 8 and twelve
Sheep By Valerie Hobbs is about a border collie named Jack who herds sheep every day. But, then one day his ranch burns down and this border collie gets passed back and forth between owners. I have started this book before but never finished it. I honestly read this book again because I needed the pages. I probably won't read this book again because I think it's below the 8th grade reading level. Overall, I think this was an ok book its a little below my reading level but, other than that I didn ...more
Sep 13, 2009 Edie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book told through the eyes of a border collie dog. A young border collie puppy lives on a farm with a loving family that teaches him how to herd sheep. Suddenly a disaster strikes on the farm and the family is forced to move out leaving everything behind. Now this loving border collie's life is going to change. This dog will go to many homes some loving and some cruel. Like a gentle goatman to a circus master that beats him. His life didn't start great but maybe it will end g ...more
Aug 10, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good book, but so hard to read. Reminiscent of A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin, it is told in first person by a dog who doesn't have the easiest life. Things start out well, with him being born on a sheep ranch to dogs of fine lineage, but once he goes to the pet store, life takes quite a few twists and turns. It's hard to read about people mistreating dogs, or any animal, but I think it's important for kids to read books like these to develop empathy for our furry friends. Lucki ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Leanin' Dog
  • Angus and Sadie (Davis Farm, #1)
  • Champ
  • Trouper
  • The Tale of Rescue
  • On The Road
  • Dog Lost
  • Runt
  • Listen!
  • Shelter Dogs: Amazing Stories of Adopted Strays
  • Everything for a Dog
  • Bonding with Your Dog: A Trainer's Secrets for Building a Better Relationship
  • We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes
  • Dolphin Song (Animal Healer, #2)
  • The Fast and the Furriest
  • How to Steal a Dog
  • The First Adventure (Tumtum and Nutmeg #1)
  • Chancey of the Maury River
Valerie Hobbs is the author of many award winning novels for young adults including Sonnys War, Tender, and How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadnt Called You Back, for which she was designated a Flying Start author by Publishers Weekly in 1996. Hobbs was the winner of the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein award for an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of childrens fiction and the Arizon ...more
More about Valerie Hobbs...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“There wasn’t much of that watch left to save, but he put a couple of the bigger pieces in his pocket. “It was my dad’s,” he said, his eyes getting puffy and red. “My dad was a famous runner.” 0 likes
“It was a bacon morning. Out of every window, the delicious odor of pig meat frying.” 0 likes
More quotes…