Dog Gone: A Picture Book

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9780312561130: Dog Gone: A Picture Book

I never understood this before, but these days I hardly get through breakfast without thinking about running, like Dead End, from the think and sticky sadness that stains every inch of our home.
"Dead End does have a mind of his own," Cub says low.
"That doesn't make him a bad dog," I snap. "Maybe it makes him a smart dog."

Twelve-year-old Dill is desperately trying to keep her family from falling apart. Her father is always at work, her mother is gone, and their dog, Dead End, seems to be here one moment and missing the next. And big trouble is brewing. A wild pack of dogs is destroying local livestock and property, and the sheriff has ordered them to be shot. Is this where Dead End has been disappearing to? How far will Dill and her best friend Cub go to uncover the truth, and hold together the last strands of a family that seems to be unraveling?

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About the Author:

Cynthia Chapman Willis is an editor for an educational book publisher in New York City. She wrote Dog Gone, her first novel, mostly in a café, and worked on revisions while commuting on the train. She lives in New Jersey with her family. Coming in Fall 2009 for Feiwel and Friends is Buck Fever.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Dead End starts pulling again, yanking at my wrist. Mom had known. Right after Lyon and I made our deal, she’d taken the pooch to obedience classes, had transformed him into a good dog that didn’t run off. Everyone but Mom saw this as a flat out miracle, but her sixth sense about animals had told her that he’d become a devoted pet. And he had. Devoted to her, mostly. That’s why, it seems to me, he’s started running again: because she’s gone. Our once warm and full home is cold and hollow, with sadness collecting like dust. Not even a day after she’d left us, the pooch started pacing and whining, pawing at the door of the master bedroom. If someone were to ask me, which no one would because I’ve made it as clear as crystal that I won’t talk about her, I’d say Dead End is searching for Mom.
I’d take off, too, even leave Virginia itself, if I could get up the guts to cut away from Lyon and G.D., I’ve whispered in the dog’s ear more than once.

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