Sunday, March 13, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: THE DOGS by Allan Stratton

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*  Book Review: SEEDS by Nancy Castaldo
*  Book Review:  EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeset Ng.

Middle Grade Monday is a weekly collection of blog posts assembled by author Shannon Messenger. For a complete list of posts, visit Shannon's blog HERE.

Allan Stratton
Ages 12 - 17

Out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving by the barn.
When I look, it disappears. Wait. There it is again, at the cornfield.
Some movement, some thing

Mom and I have been on the run for years. Every time he catches up with us, we move to a new place and start over. But this place is different.This place is full of secrets. And they won't leave me alone.

"Brilliant, page-turning, and eerie. Had me guessing to the very end." -Joseph Delaney, author of The Last Apprentice series

"It's about ghosts and terrifying danger and going mad all at once. I didn't know what was real and what was imagined until the very last page. I loved it!" -Melvin Burgess, Carnegie Medal and Guardian Prize winning author of Smack 

Allan Stratton is an acclaimed internationally published playwright and author. His awards include a Michael L. Printz Honor award, multiple ALA picks, and the Independent Publisher Book Award.


I got this book nearly a year ago from the publisher and set it aside, intending to read it. But time just gets away from me. I loved the cover--very creepy--and I have a soft spot for horror and suspense.

I finally read it this week, and it was worth the wait. This book is for young adult (teen) readers, so I wasn't expecting anything too scary or gory, of course. If I have one complaint, it was that The Dogs wasn't scary enough. While the book targets teens, the vocabulary and story line felt much more middle grade. It felt "safe." In fact, I think this is the ideal "break in" book for young readers interested in books that go bump in the night and make you want to look over your shoulder.

The Dogs is also the perfect pick for reluctant readers or boys who like a fast-past tale without being bogged down by a lot of unnecessary description. While a tad on the predictable side (due, I think, to my age & experience -- no flaw in the writing), The Dogs makes good on all its promises. I enjoyed it immensely and would feel confident giving this to someone as young as ten years old.


  1. Sounds frightening! Thanks for the review!
    - Vi

  2. I hadn't heard of this one and it sounds very intriguing. Glad to know it might hook boys into reading.

  3. This sounds intriguing, despite what you said about it being younger in writing style. There's not enough books out there that appeal to reluctant readers.

  4. I don't think I've read this one, but it sounds like a good one!

  5. This sounds creepy enough to me. I don't like scary books, so maybe the not too scary is pretty attractive to me. Thanks for the review.