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Walkin' the Dog

My 2 cents...

I would say this middle-grade is written in a literary fiction style.

I love the (in your face) author's voice, where the character's thoughts mix with the narrative pretty well (making the first person closer to the character than it usually is).

The children's humor borders on sarcasm with some references that maybe older readers and adults will get faster. The literary fiction writing style sometimes makes us take a step back to get the meaning.

The humor is balanced with the heaviness of some content. Overall, it didn't upset me. I feel that the author faces the good, the bad, and the ugly with the same honesty, and his character Louis can handle it. For example: his mother is so kind and sensible that she is hospitalized for not being able to cope with the world.

It has a cynical tone to it sometimes, but it is still very honest. Mostly, the author's message is that we learn more by witnessing the world than by staying away and isolated.

"Be a witness to your world. The bad guys do their baddest when there are no witnesses."

Sometimes isolation makes bad people get away with it, and maybe someone out there needs our help.

The character grows up and has self-confidence. He learns to be a better friend but still keeps his strength to face the world we live in.

I recommend it to older middle graders and YA. But I definitely like the author's style. It has an old-school vibe of 50s classics.

Here are some funny and provocative quotes:

"The woman at the front desk says she's been expecting me, which is quite something, since I wasn't expecting me."

"She is half-right, which is 50 percent less right than she usually is."

"I tend to believe that things are gonna work out, on their own, without any help from me... Ma (...) works at a shelter (...) all the pain of A Woman's Place (...) - is her pain. She is an inspiration to me. In a way, she would never want to be. Meaning. I'm determined that what happened to her will never happen to me."

It's scary to start high school but I can't avoid feeling excited for the world of possibilities and experiences he will face and learn from. Louis is a little ruffian and he'll be just fine.

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