Beth Bonini's Reviews > No More Dead Dogs

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
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's review
May 20, 2012

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bookshelves: children-s-book-club
Read in May, 2012

In a way, the title of this book is misleading. There isn't actually a dog in this book, and the book is certainly not about the relationship between a boy and his canine best friend. But when Wallace Wallace (protagonist, 8th grader and defiant truth teller) writes a negative review of Old Shep, My Pal (a fictional book in the tradition of Old Yeller and similar), he does get the chance to bemoan the fact that in certain prize-winning novels you can be assured that love and loss will be intertwined. Middle grade readers can rest assured that there will be no great tragedies or major "rite of passage" journeys in THIS book. There are some mild learning moments -- for instance, when Wallace discovers that the drama geeks are hard workers and actually pretty cool -- but mostly this is a book which is played for laughs. Wallace is a Tom Sawyer sort of boy who goes from being the bench-warmer (and accidental hero) of the football team to rewriting and directing the play of the book that he hated. Although he does make one chivalrous allowance to his policy of brutal honesty, he remains largely unchanged by the book's events.

Despite the male protagonist, large parts of the book are narrated from the point of view of Rachel (drama diva and prickly love interest of Wallace) and her ditsy best friend. For that reason, and because the novel is mostly about friendship, I think that girls will probably enjoy the book more than boys.

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