"Maybe that's one of the reasons people get dogs, to kind of close up the empty places inside them."
Eleven-year-old William never needed a friend more than now. After his parents' separation, his father's new engagement, and his grandfather's dying without any warning -- adopting big, beautiful Riley is the first thing in a long time that has made him feel better. That is, until Riley innocently chases a horse.
Local law states that any animal that chases livestock must be put to sleep. Suddenly William stands to lose another thing close to him. Together with his "totally unsurpassed" friend Grace, William begins a campaign to reverse the county commissioners' decision. But with a community divided on the issue, and the bully Ellis Porter trying to stop them at every turn, will they be able to save Riley's life?
Celebrated author Eve Bunting shows William's determined struggle to fight for what he believes in. The Summer of Riley is an inspiring novel about learning to accept life's changes, the healing power of friendship, and the unending desire to protect those we love.
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Eve Bunting was born in Ireland and came to California with her husband and three children. She is one of the most acclaimed and versatile children's book authors, with more than two hundred novels and picture books to her credit. Among her honors are many state awards, the Kerlan Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Regina Medal, the Mystery Writers of America and the Western Writers of America awards, and a PEN International Special Achievement award for her contribution to children's literature. In 2002, Ms. Bunting was chosen to be Irish-American Woman of the Year by the Irish-American Heritage Committee of New York.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6-With the recent death of his grandfather and his parents' decision to separate, 11-year-old William struggles with his grief and anger until an abandoned Lab comes into his life. Boy and dog bond immediately, but then William takes him to visit a neighbor. Without warning, Riley breaks away and begins to chase Peachie's old racehorse, causing injury to him. When the dog runs over to her farm again, she calls the animal-control officers and they take Riley away. Determined to save his pet from a possible death sentence, William begins a publicity campaign to vie for the townspeople's sympathies. Riley is saved when a man offers to take him and train him to keep an airport runway clear of birds. Although William loses the dog he loves, he realizes that he has done his best and begins to accept the changes that are taking place in his life. The interactions among various characters are well developed. This is a thought-provoking story but the resolution, though believable, is not totally satisfying since it gets everyone off the hook without any real change taking place concerning the law or people's attitudes. It is disturbing how quickly everyone except William gives up on Riley. Everything is great when he appears to be "the perfect dog," but one flaw and immediately he becomes a "throwaway" once again. Bunting has really captured the dilemma of our contemporary society, which wants simple solutions to complex situations, often demands perfection, and rejects anything less.
Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060291419
Book Description HarperCollins, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060291419
Book Description HarperCollins, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060291419
Book Description HarperCollins, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-199-91-6611006
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800602914191.0
Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060291419 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0013843