Reviews for Ghost Dog Secrets

Booklist Reviews 2010 October #1
Mixing hard realities (like animal abuse) with the supernatural, Kehret's latest suspense novel will appeal to readers who like frights but also like them quickly dispelled. The phantom canine of the title turns out to be the spirit of an abused dog that helps Rusty, the book's sixth-grade narrator, find three other abused dogs and save them. It starts when Rusty sees a dog tied up in a yard without access to food or shelter. Rusty tries to do good on his own but by the end of the book has enlisted all of the human resources he has--his best friend, his mother, his teacher, his town's animal-control officer, and the police--to do even better, not only saving three abused dogs but also uncovering a meth lab. Thoughtful but driven to act, Rusty makes a fine protagonist as he careens through the well-paced plot. Young readers will also end up with an illuminating introduction to the important work of animal-rescue organizations. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Rusty is dismayed to see a dog chained up outside without food or water. With the help of his friend Andrew, he hatches a plan to rescue the creature from its life of abuse; in doing so he finds that doing the right thing is sometimes complicated. Emphasis on raising awareness about animal cruelty sometimes overshadows the story line. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 July #2

Sixth grader Randy spots a dog tied to a tree in a sleet storm and resolves to help, but after visiting it, he realizes it's being seriously abused. Although he reports the cruelty to the police, he's told that without proof of abuse, which he must collect, they cannot intervene. The appearance of a ghost dog determined to push Randy into saving the animal--and some encouragement from a friend--finally motivate him to rescue the dog by stealing it and hiding it away. Later, after being found out by his mother, she reluctantly becomes the dog's official foster parent, even as they are being stalked by its violent owner. The ghost dog makes several appearances, each time presciently guiding Randy. A lecture he (bizarrely) receives in school on "evidence to look for if we think someone has a methamphetamine lab on their property," plays a major role in the conclusion, one of several too-convenient aspects of the resolution. Readers eager for ghosts and suspense may enjoy this only-average, sometimes improbable effort. (pattern for animal-shelter cat blanket, Web resources on ghosts and animal cruelty) (Fiction. 10-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September

Gr 4-6--Sixth-grader Rusty comes across a German shepherd chained outside with no food, water, or shelter, and knows he has to do something about it. He begins by sneaking food to the dog, but when a ghostly apparition of a collie appears to Rusty, and he realizes that the dog has been hurt, he decides he has to do something more. With the help of his friend Andrew, he rescues the animal and gives it a home in their old fort. But is it rescuing, or stealing? Eventually, the adults in the boys' lives get involved, and while doing the right thing is no less complicated, a happy ending (for most parties) is achieved. Rusty's first-person narrative is not entirely convincing, but dog lovers and fans of thorny moral dilemmas will appreciate this fast-paced story. And three cheers for the author for depicting adults who are loving, involved, and competent.--Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI

[Page 156]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2010 August
In Ghost Dog Secrets, award-winning author Peg Kehret takes on the issue of animal abuse and neglect in a story that will appeal to animal lovers. Kehret has written numerous books about the neglect of animals, and Ghost Dog Secrets is another wonderful addition to this category. The main character, Rusty, comes to the aid of a neglected German shepherd and in doing so faces tough consequences. Rusty and his best friend, Andrew, eventually steal the dog to protect it, causing a series of mounting events. Kehret also provides a supernatural edge to the story with a ghost dog that repeatedly appears to Rusty to help him in his mission. The story teaches readers about the reality of puppy mills and provides insight into the operation of the animal control system and the American Humane Society. Heartwarming, suspenseful, and adventurous, this story will surely be an enjoyable read for students in upper elementary through middle grades. Ghost Dog Secrets is another winner for Kehret, who tackles the issue of animal cruelty with thought-provoking situations and well-rounded characters that readers will easily identify with. Web sites included at the book's end will further inform readers about how they can prevent animal cruelty. Also, knitting directions are provided to make blankets for animal shelter cats.--Ursula Adams 4Q 4P M Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.