Junkyard Dog

  • Pages:128
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Series: Orca Currents
  • Themes:dogs, animal rights, responsibility, animal abuse, animal activism
  • Available:10/01/2009
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 9-12
  • Reading Level:3.1
  • Lexile:HL570L
  • ATOS:3.6
9781554693771 LICENSE OPTIONS

Justin is fascinated with the aged guard dog at the corner store.

Justin names it Smokey and sneaks the dog treats. Smokey belongs to a company that supplies working dogs to local businesses. Justin is thrilled to get a job working for Smokey's company, until he learns about the mistreatment of the animals. When Justin can't shake his suspicion that someone in the company is involved in a rash of thefts, he tries to quit. But Justin knows too much, and his boss won't let him go.

This short novel is a high-interest, low-reading level book for middle-grade readers who are building reading skills, want a quick read or say they don’t like to read!

"Orca Currents continues its line of hard-hitting novels for reluctant readers with this brutal yet rewarding moral quagmire…Polak writes with a nervy confidence, and her specificity…lends an authenticity that lives beyond the book's relatively few pages. A powerful story for anyone who has ever looked into the eyes of a dog and accepted the offer: 'Be good to us, and we'll be good to you.'"
– Booklist
"The story is an interesting one, with enough action and engaging characters to easily hook reluctant readers… Can provide some excellent food for thought regarding ethical questions of treatment of animals and whether an individual's need can excuse participation in unethical activities."
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"As ever, Polak's narrative style is succinct and engaging. Such abstract concepts as ethics and empathy are given concrete forms through a story that will particularly appeal to reluctant readers."
– Montreal Review of Books (MRB)
"Not a taxing read and students will find the end of the novel comes quite quickly. This novel will be good for students who are interested in reading about topics that are serious however need a book that is a more accessible reading level."
– Resource Links
"[The] storyline would attract the reluctant or low reader who likes realistic animal stories."
– The Washington State Young Adult Review Group (WASHYARG)
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens   | 2011  |  Commended

Download the Junkyard Dog Teacher Guide.