All Hal had ever wanted was a dog. "Never " cries his mother. "Think of the mess, the scratch-marks, the puddles on the floor." But on the morning of Hal's 10th birthday, the unbelievable happens. Read more...
All Hal had ever wanted was a dog. "Never " cries his mother. "Think of the mess, the scratch-marks, the puddles on the floor." But on the morning of Hal's 10th birthday, the unbelievable happens. He's allowed to choose a dog at Easy Pets, a rent-a-pet agency (a fact his parents keep from him). The moment he sees the odd-looking terrier, he knows he's found a friend for life. But no one tells Hal that Fleck must be returned. When Hal wakes up on Monday morning, Fleck is gone. If dog and boy are to stay together they'll have to run away. . . . From the renowned Eva Ibbotson comes a tale laced with humor and brimming over with heart, stunning in its beauty of the love of all things dog.
- ISBN-13: 9780545351966
- ISBN-10: 0545351960
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: March 2012
- Page Count: 282
- Reading Level: Ages 9-12
- Dimensions: 8.31 x 5.78 x 0.99 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.88 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Readers who have grown to love Ibbotson’s bighearted heroes and larger-than-life adventure stories will relish this final novel, published after her death in 2010. It introduces Hal Fenton, a British boy who has everything except the thing he wants most, a dog. Mistakenly, Hal believes his wish has finally come true when his father lets him pick out a pup for his 10th birthday. When he finds out that Fleck, the terrier he’s chosen, is only rented for the weekend, Hal is understandably furious. Fueled by his rage, he sets out to retrieve Fleck from the Easy Pets shop and run away to Northumberland to live with his grandparents. Hal’s mission is complicated when four more dogs (and the girl who set them free) decide to come along. Traveling on foot, the group finds surprises aplenty as they meet villains (including a bumbling detective’s assistant hired by Hal’s parents) as well as advocates who offer refuge. In true Ibbotson form, the lives of unlikely acquaintances are colorfully threaded together, and all characters get exactly what they deserve. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephanie Thwaites, Curtis Brown. (Mar.)
A boy's best friend
All Hal ever wanted was a dog. His wealthy parents give him every toy and gizmo, all hand-wrapped and selected by the professionals at the upscale toy store, but a dog is out of the question. It might shed, make a mess or otherwise disturb the sparkling, germ-free mansion the staff has carefully created.
Crestfallen when his 10th birthday yields only a horrifying man dressed as a dog, Hal’s sadness nudges his father to finally get a dog. The catch is, this dog will come from Easy Pets, a dog rental agency. Figuring that a dog will be like every other “toy” in Hal’s life (discarded after a few days), Hal’s father misjudges the bond between boy and dog—and that’s when this story really gets going. Hal’s attachment to Fleck, as the little mongrel is called, is so instant and so deep that Hal’s anger and depression over his parents’ duplicity sends everyone into a tailspin when his mother returns Fleck without a word of warning.
Hal and Fleck are destined to be reunited, however, and in her final book, dog-lover Eva Ibbotson, who died in 2010, has created a reunion worthy of cinema. Hal is convinced that his grandparents in Northumberland will be better parents for him and his dog. New friend and accomplice Pippa, whose family thinks she is at sleepaway camp, joins him on an adventure worthy of The Incredible Journey.
Though Ibbotson didn’t live long enough to see this charmer in print, her love of animals comes through on every page. Parents, be careful: One Dog and His Boy will certainly make young readers long for a Fleck of their own.