Racing In The Rain; My Life As A Dog

Summary:

Enzo and Denny have been together since Enzo was a pup. He loved those days of man and dog, back when Denny's world revolved around race car driving. First Eve entered the picture, then Zoe, and he wouldn't change a thing. Each of these things helped Enzo follow the path ordained by Mongolian tradition: dogs return to life as men. When fate had other plans for his family - first taking Eve and then separating Denny and Zoe - Enzo's faith was challenged. What kind of life is this for a dog?


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Any reader who has ever wondered what their pet sees or thinks will enjoy this dog's eye view of family life. This is a sweet story with a happy (but not totally predictable) ending.

Content Awareness Factors:

Some of the sadder moments in the story - though well told - may have a strong impact on some young readers.


Parent Reaction

This is a well-told story. It is poignant, but also has some humorous moments. You don't have to be a dog lover to appreciate Racing in the Rain, but it is a help. Although this is listed as a book for a "middle grade" audience, there are several elements that may require adults to be engaged in the reading: Eve loses her battle with cancer, Zoe is separated from Denny because of a custody suit by her grandparents, and Enzo reflects on his life as he is dying. I would recommend this for high school students as a high interest / low readability book.

Type of Book:
Enzo is the narrator in this story about a family stressed by change and outside influences.
Educational Themes:

This is an excellent choice for a teen book club, and several of the subplots - parental separation, custody battles, death of a parent - are presented in a way that can open discussions for parents, teachers, or counselors.

Reading Level:
5.0
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is a story that everyone should read. It is a poignant, yet positive look at families (even if told by the dog!).

Title Racing in the Rain; My Life as a Dog
Author Garth Stein
Publisher HarperCollins © 2011
ISBN 9780062015761
Material Hard Cover
Cost $6.99
Genres Animal Character, Family, Death and Loss
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