Junkyard Dog

Junkyard Dog

By Andrea Belcham

A review of Junkyard Dog by Monique Polak

Published on October 1, 2009

Junkyard Dog
Monique Polak

Orca Book Publishers
$9.95
paper
107pp
978-1-55469-155-5

In Monique Polak’s Junkyard Dog, Justin’s having a rough time: his mom walked out on him and his unemployed dad, who takes out his frustration on Justin. The 13-year-old is so tense from tiptoeing around his father that he’s starting to go bald. He jumps at the chance to take on a part-time job, which will get him out of the house and help put food on their table. As an assistant with a security company, Justin helps care for guard dogs that have seen little love. Soon Justin must choose between a steady income and the animals’ welfare. He finds allies in unexpected places when he moves to help put an end to his employer’s crimes. As ever, Polak’s narrative style is succinct and engaging. Such abstract concepts as ethics and empathy are given concrete forms through a story that will particularly appeal to reluctant readers. (Ages 10+) mRb

Andrea Belcham lives in Saint-Lazare, where many of her best neighbours are trees.

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