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Notes from the Dog    by Gary Paulsen order for
Notes from the Dog
by Gary Paulsen
Order:  USA  Can
Wendy Lamb Books, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Fourteen-year-old Finn's summer plans are to read as many books as he can and avoid people in general. His life changes when Johanna Jackson moves next door. In her early twenties, Johanna is a breast cancer survivor. 'In my book, if you live one split second after you hear news like that, you're a survivor,' Johanna says.

Johanna wants a garden and since she is only house sitting she can't start one herself. So she talks Finn into putting in a garden at his house. He would really rather read his summer away, but there is something about Johanna and her belief in him that makes him want to plant a beautiful garden for her.

Finn and his friend Matthew take care of Johanna through sicknesses brought on by chemotherapy, and she teaches them about family, love, and how to believe in themselves.

Lively, irrepressible Johanna changes the lives of Finn's entire family and that of his friend Matthew. If you want to know where the title Notes from the Dog comes from, you'll have to read the book. You won't be sorry that you did.

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