Dog Days of Summer – 3 canine fiction sequels

Here for your consideration are three recent sequels to very popular novels featuring dogs.

Picture This (M)
by Jacqueline Sheehan

“In this sequel to Lost and Found (2007), Rocky Pelligrino, still recovering from the sudden death of her husband, Bob, is at a crossroads.

Should she return to her psychologist job in Massachusetts or make Peak’s Island, Maine, her permanent home? Her friendships are strong, but her faithful black Labrador, Cooper, is her real rock. Then comes a bombshell. Bob may have fathered a daughter, and Natalie shows up on Rocky’s doorstep, emancipated from the foster-care system but still bearing scars. As Rocky struggles to accept a part of Bob back into her life, her teenage neighbor, Melissa, and the always wise Cooper suspect that Natalie may have ulterior motives. The alternating narrative voices are clear and appealing, each with a self-awareness that gives most of the book a meditative pace. But Sheehan ratchets up the tension, making the ending a real page-turner. The humans are great, but it’s Cooper, with his protective instincts and warm, comforting body, with whom readers will fall in love, even if they haven’t read the first book.” – Booklist

A Dog’s Journey (M)
by W. Bruce Cameron

“Introduced in Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose (2010), good dog Buddy finds a new role in life after his beloved master, Ethan, dies when he rescues Ethan’s toddler granddaughter, Clarity, from a near-fatal accident. When Clarity’s self-absorbed and dog-hating mother whisks her away, Buddy wonders if he’ll ever see her again. Buddy doesn’t, but Molly does. As all good dogs must, Buddy dies, but his spirit and mission live on in Molly, a dog the now-teenage Clarity adopts at a time when she battles her mother’s psychological abuse and a violent ex-boyfriend’s threats. In the years ahead, a self-destructive and emotionally fragile Clarity will manage to find her own purpose, but only with the help of Max, a spitfire chihuahua, and a gentle beagle named Toby, who carry on Buddy’s protective devotion. Once again endearing himself to animal lovers, Cameron explores the concept of canine karma with acute sensitivity and exhibits cunning insight into life from a dog’s perspective.” – Booklist

A Christmas Home (M)
by Greg Kincaid

“Fans of Kincaid’s A Dog Named Christmas will welcome another story featuring the McCray family and their rescue dog, Christmas. Todd McCray is now 24 and, while he still has some developmental disabilities, he’s thriving owing to his work at the local animal shelter. Todd has even trained rescue dog Gracie to be a service dog for his best friend and former classmate, Laura, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. Sadly, his small Kansas hometown and the shelter are not immune to the bad economy, and the shelter is going to close after losing its funding. Now Todd is trying to find homes for 50 animals before Christmas and contemplating a new career and possible romance with Laura. VERDICT Dog lovers and anyone looking for a heartwarming Christmas story will enjoy Kincaid’s latest.” – Library Journal

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