Booth, Anne: Dog Ears.
Catnip, 2015, pp217, 6.99 [pounds sterling]
978 1 846 471889
Anne Booth has written another multi-layered, gently persuasive novel that will make us all keep our hearts and minds more open to the needs of others. Anna Taylor is growing up, feeling that she is alone, that no one is listening to her, except her dog Timmy. Her mother is preoccupied and worried about Jack, her premature baby son, her father is away working and her grandmother comes in regularly to create some order out of the chaos. Living with the pressures of today's insistence of living an environmentally sustainable existence only adds to Anna's problems.
At school Anna and her friends are preoccupied with each other and disinclined to look outside their tight little circle. They join in with the popular condemnation of outsiders; other children who come to school unprepared for lessons, who never seem to get their homework done, with dirty clothes and often themselves unwashed. Only when Anna is forced, by the brutal remarks made by her friends, to feel that she might become one of the outsiders, does she reconsider her attitudes.
There is warmth and sweetness in the description of the daily life of a contemporary British family and Anne Booth has created a recognizable community for young readers to relate to.