Sunday, October 25, 2015

Whippoorwill by Joseph Monniger

What does neglect and abuse do to a human boy, to a dog?  Can such hurt be undone or not?  This fast read takes a look at the issue.   Its an ok story that held my attention.

Clair and Danny have lived next door since forever, but were never friends.  They both are in single family homes without mothers.  But Danny lives with an angry and sometimes abusive father while Clair's father is more stable and loving.  The fathers grew up together as well though were never friends.  Recently a dog has been tied to a pole outside, sometimes fed, sometimes kicked, always whining and trying to get away from the pole.  

Clair gets up the nerve to start befriending the dog, Wally, then training him and walking him when Danny's father angrily says to take him he wants to get rid of him. Clair and Danny form a friendship over Wally, training him and caring for him.  Though Danny had been treating the dog badly, he cleaned him up for Clair got a new leash, fed him better.  The possibility of a deeper kind of a relationship might exist for Clair despite warnings about the unstable family.

Then one horrible night everything falls apart, Danny and his father argue, father is injured and has his son charged.  For a while Clair cares for the dog Wally as no one is next door to do so.  But, when Elwood arrives home he demands the dog and injures the dog.  Clair's father and his friends do a great  rescue.

We know the outcome for Wally and it is heartwarming, even might make dog lovers a bit teary but the outcome for Danny is far from certain and I think just as important to the book as the dog story.

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