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Good Dog

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,163 ratings  ·  294 reviews
Brodie didn't remember the exact moment that he died. But he did remember the exact moment that he woke up afterward. When he woke up he was already running.

In his awe-inspiring new novel, acclaimed author Dan Gemeinhart brings his signature blend of action, heart, and beautiful, deliberate prose to the story of a good dog who can't move on to the afterlife until the boy
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Scholastic
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Joanne Palin I am holding off putting it in my K-5 library. Father is an abusive drunk who killed the dog and the dog comes back from Limbo to save the boy from hi…moreI am holding off putting it in my K-5 library. Father is an abusive drunk who killed the dog and the dog comes back from Limbo to save the boy from his domestic violence. (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  1,163 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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Lorie Barber
I ended my 2017 reading year with this book. And I could not have lucked out with a better one.

Brodie is a dog - a very good dog - who has died. Rather than let go and move on to Forever, Brodie chooses to return to our world to save Aidan, his boy, from danger. What entails is an adventure so unique that I couldn’t put this book down.

Good Dog is BEAUTIFUL. An omniscient narrator tells the story, occasionally breaking from his POV to address the reader, which connected me to Brodie and Aidan m
Clare Snow
CW: domestic violence, dog fighting
"Tuck's tail was all wag."

Dan Gemeinhart knows dogs. I loved this story for how true to life a dog's thoughts could be. I hated the dog fighting. The violence of that and Aidan's father are horrific. I found both very difficult to read. A middle schooler experiencing family violence might be helped by this story, but I'm not sure most middle schoolers would enjoy those aspects -particularly the graphic dog fights.

I loved that the gentlest dog was a pitbull and
Cassie Thomas
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching. But what a beautiful take on man's best friend and the role your dog truly plays in your life. Told from Brodie's perspective, you follow Brodie along as he comes back from the after life to still be there for his boy, all while he has dark demon dogs after his soul, and a friend who would do anything to help Brodie check on his boy. Brodie goes through betrayal, reality, and strength to find his way to ensure that dying wasn't for nothing. Dan writes in a way that imprints your ...more
Kristen Picone
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Thomas
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a huge Dan Gemeinhart fan so I was ecstatic to have he chance to preview Good Dog with #bookodyssey. Ultimately, this one missed the mark for me. The overall feel of the book is very dark, with many disturbing scenes and references to animal abuse and child abuse. I read the book quickly, but kept waiting for that special something. The world building and concept of dog afterlife was well
done and interesting, it just wasn’t for me as powerful as some of his other work. I will be interested
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Dan writes the best stories for middle grade readers. Look for this in March of 2018!!! Nothing better than a boy and his dog. Or in this case a dog and his boy! Amazing story!
I’m working my way through Dan Gemeinhart’s books and when I saw the cover of this book, my initial thought was that this would be an emotional, sweet story yet the synopsis told me something different. Even after reading the synopsis, I wasn’t prepared for what I read.

This was an emotional story about the love between a dog named Brodie and his boy. I liked how Dan wrote the story from the dog’s point of view. Like many people, I always talk to animals like they understand every word I say, an
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm going to be in the minority here since just about every review here has 4 or 5 stars. I really wanted to love this book, or at least like it a lot. I loved both The Honest Truth and Some Kind of Courage from this author. And I love dogs. I'm a total dog person. So a story about a dog who can't move on to the afterlife until the boy he loves is safe sounds like something I would love. But gosh this story is so dark, really, really dark. And violent. Instead of reading a lovely story about a f ...more
Theresa Grissom
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another winner by Dan Gemeinhart! The students at my school love his books and this will join their list of favorites. This book reads a bit older than his other books. I will save for 5th grade and older.
Linda Williams Jackson
Dan Gemeinhart is an outstanding writer. I loved this cleverly crafted book which reminded me of the movie BOLT and the book THE HORSE AND HIS BOY by C.S. Lewis. I also thought the name "Tuck" for a dog who's been kind of hanging around in the "between" for quite a while was pretty cool too. I think this book will be a hit for kids who love books with heart and action. ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Scholastic Book Club paperback copy
Brodie is a dog who has died and gone to a heaven-like afterlife where dogs run free. He is slowly remembering his life back on earth, and when he does, he realizes that he left his boy, Aidan, behind. He feels that the boy is in danger, so he talks to Tuck, a dog who has been there for a long time, and arranges to go back to earth so he can help. Tuck goes with him, even though both dogs know that they will forfeit their immortal souls. When Brodie arrives bac
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"You don't have to have been a hero before to be one when you really need to. We can all be a hero anytime decide to be. Believe me.
Because a hero? A hero isn't a person. A hero is a choice."

This is my second Dan Gemeinhart book and this may have cemented him as an all time favorite author. I have the rest of his books on order.

Trigger warning: Child abuse, animal abuse, animal death and animal fighting
For children this is going to be along the lines for kids who read books like Where the Red Fe
Jake N
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book killed me. I cried the whole time… And considering that I was listening to it that meant that I was crying while grocery shopping, cleaning, at the bank and trying to explain why everywhere that I went. I grew up with dogs and know the joy and love of having a special dog. Now as a father with a boy, and no dogs ... yet... I long to bring that same joy to him and the rest of our family.

Beware, this book may cause you to visit Humane Society’s looking for the “Brodie” you’ve been missi
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I found it a little annoying that at the end of/near the end of every important scene, there was a sort of awkward summary-like thing where the narrator started each or almost every paragraph by asking a bunch of small questions along the lines of, "And ___? (S)He ___" "But ____ (S)He ____". The first few times, it was okay, but when it started to become predictable, it got on my nerves. The ending was good though. ...more
Terry Johnson
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Great writing!
And any book that makes me want to go hug my dogs is a great book as far as I'm concerned.
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: A physical copy was provided via Scholastic Indiain exchange for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

Trigger Warnings: Domestic Violence, Child Violence, Animal Abuse and Dog Fighting

Having a dog or cat own me is one of wildest and cherished dream of mine (and don’t tell anyone; I am getting close this fulfilling this dream of mine!) and I just knew I was going
Marco Morano
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Good Dog by Dan Gemienhart is a middle grade novel that follows the point of view of a dog named Brodie. He finds himself in this in-between world where dogs go after they die, and we follow him as a ghost as he goes back to the living world in order to save his past owner.

I’ve loved Dan Gemienhart’s middle grade novels so far, but this one was a dud for me. The plot overall is something I’m not a fan of. It reminds me of one of those formulaic sappy dog movies which I’m not a huge fan of. The w
Kathleen Dixon
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm still not sure quite what I thought of this book. I'm writing this review a couple of weeks after finishing it (all sorts of things got in the way, etc.) and thinking about it again and my response is the same as the one I gave my boss (bookshop owner, and we often read the same books being as they are books we've just stocked and we need to know a bit about as many as we can) - "I'm not sure if I like it or not."

I wanted to know what happened all the way through so I read every page (unlike
I didn't think Dan Gemeinhart could possibly maintain his streak of "greatest hits" but GOOD DOG should have been called GREAT DOG! There are so many twists and turns and tears in this book that I hated having to put it down to go to work or sleep! Brodie was a dog. He died. But when he woke up he knew he had to go back somehow and save his boy, Aiden from "the monster" who happened to be his father. Trouble is, it isn't easy going back, he'd risk his soul if he failed. The living world is beaut ...more
The Reading Countess
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy, arc
Woot! Love this author, love reading his next one before it hits the shelves! I gobbled this in one night. One late school night well past midnight, a teary and bleary eyed Language Arts teacher voraciously turned page after page of what will surely be a classic take on a boy and his dog tale. Deep. Impactful. Heartbreaking. Levity thrown in at just the right times before a weepy reader loses all hope, be ready for the ending. Oh, that ending’s gonna bite you. Hard. But don’t worry. You’re surro ...more
Julie Kirchner
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is something about Dan’s writing that is so amazing. Is this story a bit dark at times? Yes, as is The Honest Truth, but I think this is an important story. Told from the perspective of a character whose identity is not revealed until the end of the book, it is the story of a dog living in a middle place between earth and afterlife who feels a need to get back to his boy because he knows/feels his boy needs him. Of course it is impossible to go back to the living when you have died and he ...more
Daniel Reeves
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I knew full well what I was getting myself into. A book about a dead dog coming back to help his boy? Come on. You’re just asking for emotional anguish. And yes, yes I was. And damn, I am thankful for picking up this book.

For a book meant for middle grade readers, this book dealt with some very adult themes. I won’t go into spoiler territory but I have to give the author my thanks for touching on some very brave subject matter that is important for young people to know about. Books like this one
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Gemeinhart is one of my favorite new(ish) authors, and I was so excited to read this book! Parts of this book I LOVED! And I ugly cried several times. This book is packed with dark themes - animal/child abuse, alcoholism, grief... I was a little taken aback by how depressing the story actually was.

Tuck's character was my favorite, but overall Brodie, Tuck, and Patsy felt too much like the characters in the The Incredible Journey. There were some distracting style choices that just didn't work f
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dan Gemeinhart creates another great novel. In the fourth grade, I read The Honest Truth, which is one of the best books I have ever read. A year later I read Scar Island, another great Dan Gemienhart novel. So when I first bought this, I had high expectations. And this book was better then I ever imagined. The characters are likable and the story is deep and engaging. If you are a fan of dog books, Dan Gemeinhart or dramatic adventures, this is a book for you. This is a must read. I'd give it m ...more
Ridgewood Public Library Youth Services
Brodie has died, and woken up in the world of the dead where they can run all day and live worry free. Who would want to leave such a perfect world? To Brodie everything isn't perfect, he keeps having a vague memory of a monster and his boy, who is in trouble. He doesn't know anything else except that he needs to go back and save his boy. Bodie knows the risks but he bends the rules and returns back anyway. Travelling as a soul into the land of the living is dangerous but Brodie will risk anythi ...more
Lynn Boyle
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Better than I expected! I read it as a preview for my class, and it is one of the most wonderfully written books I’ve read. The story engages the reader from the very beginning and keeps you turning the page. A heart-wrenching, yet beautiful tale of the love that a boy and his dog have for one another. If you’ve ever had a dog who held a piece of your heart — have your tissues ready.
Ris Sasaki
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was one of those disappointments when the premise sound amazing, but maybe I was just not the target audience for this book.
But maybe the main problem that I had with the story was not the cliche plot, but the bad writing style with the repetitive words and the "believe me" over and over again.
Good Dog is full of heart and darkness.,I loved every page, and know this may be too dark for younger readers. Alcoholism, child and animal abuse are part of the plot. Loved the The Honest Truth connection. Mostly I adored Brodie and his never ending heart. Another winner!
Tracey Machos Houston
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
My 6th and 7th graders will love this book! If I were still teaching in the classroom, I would be reading it to them. Gemeinhart's books are full of adventure and contain compassionate messages about life. ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So. Many. Tears.

I love this book.

- - - - -

“... the boy whose arms hugged with a fierceness that could burn away all your shivers and your trembles... who fought monsters away to keep you safe...”

“Do you know what my favorite thing in the whole world is?”
“This. This right here.”
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