Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dog 4491 by Sneed B. Collard III

Sam and his grandfather find a stray dog, Sophie, with a collar dating back to the 1920s. Sophie’s background leads them to an abandoned Victorian house on the wrong side of the dangerous Expressway. They discover that the house is in the middle of a debate to expand the Expressway and tear down the historic neighborhood. While Sam is exploring the house, he and Sophie are transported back in time to Sophie’s original owner in 1926—an 11-year-old boy named Rollie. The two boys become instant friends and together they expose the corrupt Cheesebro brothers who are bribing city officials to push the Expressway expansion.

Collard creates a fun and fast-paced time-travel tale with a strong friendship foundation. Readers will enjoy seeing how two boys from different eras become friends. At first, Sam and Rollie show the other the best of their time period—graphic novels, coin collecting, and great ice cream. When their friendship is solidified, the two boys find common ground in saving the future of their city. Besides the themes of friendship and time-travel, Collard also outlines the cons with over-expansion and the pros with restoring cities back to their original condition. Collard showcases the idea that things really were better in “the good old days” and that people can learn from the past to improve their future. A great read for boys of any age.

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