Faith And The Electric Dogs

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9780590697699: Faith And The Electric Dogs

Edison is a Mexican street dog, but he's far from ordinary. He can speak Bowwow and can understand English, Spanish, and French. When a girl named Faith rescues him, he begins a fantastic and unforgettable journey.

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From Booklist:

Gr. 3^-6. A book with a dog as the narrator (especially a dog having an "unusual facility with languages") is certain to include some interesting appraisals: "on the other side of the stream was a little crying girl. . . . She looked to me to be about seventy years old." The little crying girl, Faith, who is actually age 10, becomes the dog's new owner. She names the dog Edison because in Mexico, where she is living, a stray is called un perro corriente, which means "an electric dog." Faith has been crying for several reasons: she longs to return to San Francisco, she is sure she can't learn Spanish ("it's a physical impossibility"), and, most recently, her schoolmates have been taunting her and assaulting her with slingshots. Edison sympathizes with Faith's predicament, but he's hurt when she later wildly proclaims that she hates Mexico and Mexicans. After all, Edison is Mexican. But the faithful dog sticks by his owner, even when she eventually builds a rocket that takes them both to a desert island--a location where Eddie's gift for languages proves very useful. The magic realism, a thoughtful message, and the unconventional narrator, who remains solidly doglike despite his talent for reading and writing, add up to a first novel brimming with both charm and substance. The format is also appealing: the book is rather small and squarish in shape, and unfamiliar words (Spanish, French, and Bowwow) are translated in the margins and brought together in a glossary. Because readers so often find their beloved children's book dogs being sacrificed for the sake of drama, it is delightful to have a story in which the dog not only saves the day but also survives with his inimitable spirit intact. Susan Dove Lempke

From Kirkus Reviews:

A joy--an original, uniquely funny first novel that is thought-provoking as well, from a witty ambassador of languages and cultures. The first-person narrator, a little dog (``electric'' is wordplay on Spanish for ``current,'' as well as ``cheap'' and ``no good'') of the streets of Mexico, discovers a willful child, Faith, being harassed by boys. He saves her, and she brings him home where he observes the surroundings. ``I must admit to being a little naive,'' he says about the life of a house dog. ``Contrary to rumors,'' a house dog does not have his own chair at the dinner table, and kibbles are an unwelcome surprise. His point of view is of a worldly, street-wise character who understands many dog languages, several human languages, and a great deal about the transplanted girl from San Francisco who dislikes Mexico and wants to return ``home home'' so much that she designs a rocket to transport the two of them there. The adventures proceed at a fast clip, always accompanied by the priceless comments of the electric dog. The design of the book includes Jennings's chapter decorations in black-and-white and translations in the wide margins for the many Spanish words (and French and Bowwow--whatever comes up) effortlessly introduced into the story. A great read-aloud, y un libro perfecto! (glossary) (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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