Paul Jennings (text), Geoff Kelly (illus.) A Different Dog, Allen & Unwin, May 2017, 96pp., $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760296469
A Different Dog is the story of a boy who can’t talk and a dog that inadvertently creates an adventure of dangerous proportions. When the boy and the dog find themselves in a perilous situation, the boy is unable to call for help and the dog becomes paralysed with fear. It will be up to the boy’s strength of character – his resilience, courage and determination – if they are to survive.
Paul Jennings is a well-loved and highly regarded author of over one hundred stories; his widely-acclaimed series Unreal! has gained international success.
A Different Dog is a sit-down, cover-to-cover one-session read. There is suspense from start to finish, surprising twists and turns, and nail-biting situations. Once again, Jennings proves himself to be a master of engagement from start to finish – and leaves us wanting more.
In A Different Dog, Jennings cleverly intertwines ethical and moral dilemmas within this thought-provoking story to open up a whole world of discussion around ‘what if’? The reader is invited to consider the limitations and influences on a person whose life may not be as easy for them as it is for others. I am sure my Year 4 Ethics Class would love to discuss the questions that this compelling journey of ability and kindness brings to light.
Reviewed by Jennifer Mors