Author: Max Elliot Anderson
Audience: 8 – 12; especially boys
Shadow is a classic, boy-and-his-dog story, filled with twists, turns, action,
danger, and mystery. For as long as he could remember, all Bobby Taylor ever wanted was a dog of his own…any dog. But, he had a problem. His step-father managed the local animal control facilities, and the last thing he wanted to see at home was another barking dog.
Bobby began to notice a severely neglected dog, in the back yard of a run-down home that he passes on his way to school. So, he sort of adopted this pitiful animal as his own. He even gave him a name; Shadow. Unfortunately, because the dog had been so mistreated, he had an extremely vicious side. But, whenever he was in Bobby’s presence, anyone would have thought that this was the most gentle dog in town.
Buck and his followers made it their mission to pick on Bobby with every opportunity. That’s because Bobby was one of the scrawniest kids in school.
Then a rash of vandalism struck the town of Mason City. It began small, but became increasingly destructive. After each hit, the vandals left their mark; a symbol that was always spray-painted on a wall or sidewalk. Bobby is able to keep Shadow, as his own dog, under one condition. If the dog ever attacks anyone, the sheriff has ordered that Bobby’s father would have to put the dog down.
What happens when Bobby finally discovers who’s behind the vandalism? And, when they know that he knows, they set out to make sure he never tells another human being. After Shadow ultimately saves Bobby’s life, he puts his own in jeopardy.
This story will remind readers how important it is to tell the truth, no matter what the consequences may be.
I'm becoming more and more impressed with Max Elliot Anderson's books. I think they easily rival the old Hardy Boys series--remember them? This is a middle-grade mystery and adventure, one I think you and your kids will love. Five stars!
Bobby Taylor is the hero in this story--a boy who had always wanted a dog, but whose step father refuses to allow it. Bobby is also the butt of bigger kids jokes and harassment. Said step father manages the pound and is the one who has to order dogs put to death. He's afraid Bobby will be enthusiastic over a dog for a while but will then lose interest and quit taking good care of it. That's how a lot of dogs wind up in the pound.
Bobby befriends a large, vicious-sounding and acting dog. It turns out the poor dog is mistreated and is apparently just used for guarding a fenced yard. Suddenly the dog turns up missing, and it doesn't seem anyone is left in the house inside the yard. When Bobby discovers him in the step father's pound, amazing things begin to happen.
You should get this for your kids. Or for yourself, if you've never outgrown your love of a good, clean mystery.
5.0 out of 5 stars
SHADOW is a very sad story--readers will need tissues. It was heart-breaking to know how Shadow was treated by his first owner and heart-breaking how Bobby was treated by bullies.
It became heartwarming when Bobby was able to befriend Shadow and ultimately they became really close. Then the danger esculates and lives are in danger. And in a heart-stopping moment, everything changes for all of them.
Mr. Anderson is a writer for tween boys who are reluctant readers and knows how to engage their interest.