Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Pets

A Three-Dog Life - (ISBN: 978-0156033237)

by Abigail Thomas

Thomas' memoir of life with her dogs after her husband suffers brain trauma in a car accident is a beautiful tribute to the love she has for her husband. She and the dog move to rural New York to be near him in the institution. She acquires two more dogs for company. Her husband responds well to the new household on visits home, and she moves into a new phase of her life. Recall occasions when your animals have served as genuine companions to you and your family members.

Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name - (ISBN: 978-1602390027)

by Vicki Hearne

This book developed from the author's need to maintain a "talking" relationship with her animals. She explores the philosophical background of the human/animal bond and especially focuses on the unique communication possible between creatures who cannot physically "talk." For an in-depth look at the training relationship between animals and their trainers/owners, try this unusual volume.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World - (ISBN: 978-0446407410)

by Vicki Myron

A library director recounts the story of life after finding a small kitten in the book return. Not only does the cat provide a catalyst for many programs and other library developments, the librarian’s relationship with the cat also provides the backdrop to challenging years which include divorce, a difficult childbirth, and cancer. Have you ever played hide and seek with a cat as this author has done?

From Baghdad to America: Life Lessons from a Dog Named Lava - (ISBN: 978-1602392649)

by Jay Kopelman

Kopelman adopts a scrawny canine while in Iraq and tells the story of his return home to live in the U.S. with the dog at his side. Not only did the dog make his life more bearable while in the armed forces; it also helps him meet his wife and teaches him many lessons about life. How did your pets do when you moved them?

The Art of Racing in the Rain - (ISBN: 978-0061537936)

by Garth Stein

This novel about the life of a car racer includes a unique dog story; this dog rides in the race cars to provide companionship for Denny Swift. The dog IS the narrator in the book, so be prepared for some imaginative reading about not having human thumbs and not being able to drive!

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - (ISBN: 978-0061768064)

by David Wroblewski

Edgar's muteness does not prevent him from developing a sibling-like relationship from the dog Almondine who watches as Edgar came home from the hospital as a baby. Edgar's parents breed an unusual (and fictional) type of dog. Young Edgar learns the business and helps in every way he can except when he finds his father dying of a heart attack. He cannot communicate by phone, and his mother is gone. The emergency service worker on the phone hears agitated dogs in the background and thinks she knows who is calling, but the father is gone before help arrives. After Edgar's uncle attempts to take over the business and the affection of Edgar's mother, Edgar embarks on a mythical journey with several of the dogs from the barn, leaving Almondine behind. How does his journey compare with other coming of age journeys children make when they leave as teens and return as adults?

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - (ISBN: 978-1400032716)

by Mark Haddon

The Labrador Pact - (ISBN: 067001852X)

by Matt Haig

Activities for this Theme

101 Things to Do With Your Dog