The International Writers Magazine: Young Readers
Going Home by Cliff McNish
Published April 2014
Talking dogs usually inhabit cartoons. They’re cute and kids love ‘em.
Ugly, difficult, unwanted talking dogs is a totally different thing entirely.
In Going Home by Sunderland writer Cliff McNish he is writing about the great many unloved dogs that spend sometimes years in dog rescue homes – never loved, never taken home, or if they are, they are like Mitch, returned because they chase cats. Or Bessie, the beautiful Border Collie that can’t bear to be touched – or Ralph, the star of the book, who is just plain ugly and because of that people can’t see that he is not only loveable, but very capable of giving love.
Going Home is the story of dogs that need homes and the people who care for them, like Vicky whom they all adore or even Sloppy Steve who only pretends to care. It’s about caring about animals, worries about the type of food they eat, even if donated and the unsung heroes who dedicate years of their lives to unfortunate animals that seemingly no one wants. And that crushing moment when you are sure it’s your turn and the cute girl Claire who has shown such interest in you takes another… like school, it sucks if you don’t get chosen for the team.
Ralph is patient, even as he sees his friends get adopted, one by one. In his heart he knows he’ll never make it out of there – but even ugly dogs have dreams y’know,
Any young kid who loves dogs will adore this tale and immediately want to visit the nearest rescue centre. Parents be warned.
© Sam Hawksmoor April 2nd 2014
author of The Repercussions of Tomas D
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