This is a painfully poignant story narrated by a dog. If you like soupy books and love dogs, prepare your reading time with a full box of tissues.
This is the story of a family and their dog. A dog that just knows that his next revolution on the wheel of creation he is going to have opposable thumbs and vocal cords uses his insight and narrative skills to tell the story.
The story is moving and characterizes the value of perseverance, patience and tenacity. Love can not conquer all but love can sustain life. Driving race cars provide Denny and Enzo metaphors for living their lives. This story can teach compassion and a willingness to help others.
This is purported to be a kid’s book and admittedly the reading level is hardly taxing. However it is emotionally charged and could be a bit intense for the younger reader. (Remember Ole Yeller?)
Although this book could easily be read by the literate first grader I would not recommend it for the primary grades. I think it would be fine for the upper elementary grades and on up. I enjoyed it but then there have always been questions regarding my maturity level.
I recommend the book, it is inspiring, sad and satisfying.
Body of work of Garth Stein
Web Site: http://www.garthstein.com/arr/