This heartwarming story of a boy and his dogs is filled with memorable characters—both human and canine.
Twelve-year-old Sam dreams of owning a purebred puppy, convinced they are superior to a mongrel like Max, the family's ancient pet. Smelly, disheveled, and affectionate, Max is a walking miracle. Near death's door when Sam's sister rescued him, Max survived and seems immortal. That's too bad, for Sam's mother says no new dog if it's going to bother Max. Undaunted, Sam decides to save enough money to buy a puppy anyway and takes a job walking dogs in Country Wood, the fancy gated community in his rural town. There he clashes with Justin, a rich, pampered "burbie" who owns just the kind of dog Sam wants: a sable German Shepherd. Justin is determined to get Sam fired and destroy his dream. Their feud, echoing the conflict between rich city transplants and the townies, escalates into violence. But maybe dishelved old Max can help to save the day?
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“Clifton creates a diverse cast of strongly drawn multicultural characters. . . . This naturally developing story is a good choice for dog lovers and anyone looking over the fence at a life that seems better.”"—Booklist