Saturday, March 12, 2016

Monninger, Joseph. Whippoorwill.

Monninger, Joseph.  Whippoorwill.  Houghton Mifflin  2015  275p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-544-53123-9  hs   Animal story  VG-BN     

Claire and her neighbors might be called “white trash.  She watches and hears Wally, the next door neighbor’s dog, who is mostly ignored but sometimes abused.  She is afraid of Wally but also feels sorry for him.  One night she finally approaches him and is rewarded with love.  Danny sees Claire and decides to defy his abusive father and try to civilize Wally.  Claire and Danny get along very well in caring for Wally.

Danny fights with his father over Wally and injures his father.  Danny and Claire spend a wonderful day together until Danny is arrested.  While Danny is in jail, Claire rescues Wally with the help of her father and his motorcycle buddies.  To prevent further abuse, Claire surrenders Wally to a rescue center.

This is a sweet story about the love of a dog, how even the worst dog can respond to love and can bring together a boy and a girl.  The ending is a bit of a tearjerker as Claire says goodbye to Wally.  The novel is ensitively written, leaving the reader to learn much about the characters through their actions.  The theme is that no one, neither human nor canine, is a throwaway -- a piece of junk.

Summary: Claire feels sorry for Wally, the next door neighbor’s abused dog.  She begins to train him with the help of the Danny, boy next door.  Danny wants to escape his abusive father, and Claire rescues Wally.  No one, whether a dog or a person, is a throwaway.      

Dogs-Fiction                                                --Joan Theal

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