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“This sweet and heartwarming book is the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever lost something — or someone — precious. While the plot is simple, the characters and the timeless message of healing more than make up for it. There’s also a positive representation of a same-sex couple and elements of the famous story Marley & Me sprinkled throughout. But don’t worry, the ending isn’t nearly as devastating.”
— Jason Mills, The Book Bungalow, St. George, UT
A unique masterpiece about loss, love, and the world’s best bad dog, from award winner Leslie Connor, author of the National Book Award finalist The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle.
This novel sings about loss and love and finding joy in new friendships and a loving family, along with the world’s best bad dog. An uplifting middle grade novel about recovery featuring strong female characters, an adorable dog, and the girl who comes to love him.
It’s a life-altering New Year for thirteen-year-old Lydia when she uproots to a Connecticut farm to live with her aunt following her mother’s death.
Aunt Brat and her jovial wife, Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord, Elloroy, are welcoming—and a little quirky. Lydia’s struggle for a sense of belonging in her new family is highlighted when the women adopt a big yellow dog just days after the girl’s arrival.
Wasn’t one rescue enough?
Lydia is not a dog person—and this one is trouble! He is mistrustful and slinky. He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past.
Meanwhile, Lydia doesn’t want to be difficult—and she does not mean to keep secrets—but there are things she’s not telling...
Like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important...
And why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger...
And why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past—but at what cost?
* Junior Library Guild Selection *
About the Author
Leslie Connor is the author of several award-winning books for children, including two ALA Schneider Family Book Award winners, Waiting for Normal and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, which was also selected as a National Book Award finalist. Her other books include All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Crunch, and The Things You Kiss Goodbye. She lives in the Connecticut woods with her family and three rescue dogs. You can visit her online at www.leslieconnor.com.
"Gentle, fully fleshed characters . . . are lovingly drawn in this long tale of healing . . . her [Lydia's] poignant tale is engaging and uplifting. An almost-orphan and a rescue dog share lots of heart in a winsome coming-of-age story. " — Kirkus Reviews
"What stands out is the narrative’s essential kindness, as Lydia heals and rediscovers the meaning of home and family." — Publishers Weekly(starred review)
"Beautifully woven story lines and characters mesh together as Lydia, Guffer, the goats, and her family all start to heal from the inside out. Connor . . . has an innate ability to broach difficult subjects with gentleness, and the myriad strong female characters will be embraced by readers seeking heroines to cheer for." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"A dreamy, introspective story [that] explores grief and family. Lydia’s journey is nicely paralleled in the travails of the rescue dog also recently added to the household, and the apt comparisons are sure to spark plenty of discussion. Recommended for children’s collections where realistic fiction is in demand." — Booklist
“A small masterpiece. Every page offers something to cherish—a new thought, a wry chuckle, a tender sigh of sorrow or joy. Lydia’s story is comforting yet never comfortable. Leslie Connor is a writing goddess!” — Tricia Springstubb, author of Moonpenny Island and Every Single Second
“Connor gives us a resilient heroine as well as insightful commentary on love and joy, in addition to the inherent injustices of life; a heroine whose internal strength and subtle emotional growth will engage readers and encourage them to delve into larger questions.” — Padma Venkatraman, author of The Bridge Home, the 2019 Middle School Global Read Aloud
“A sensitive, heart-forward look at the way families take care of each other, the way dogs take care of their families, and the way love takes care of us all. Authentic and artful, A Home for Goddesses and Dogs is easy to sink in and impossible to forget.” — Corey Ann Haydu, author of Rules for Stealing Stars and Eventown
“Leslie Connor is one of my FAVORITE middle grade authors and yet again, she finds a way with her words straight to your heart and somehow leaves you crying with a smile on your face. Please do yourself a [favor] and read this, share this, and then read it again< .”< — Nichole Cousins, booksellers at White Birch Books (North Conway, NH)