Saturday, 11 April 2015
Review: Dog Ears by Anne Booth
I've got to tell someone, and you're the best listener there is. Mum is asleep with Jack upstairs, Dad's not here and Gran hasn't arrived yet - and you know what, Gran never listens anyway. Basically, the whole school has gone mad. Anna and her friends can't believe that popstar Pippa Green is coming to their school to judge a singing competition. They're going to be famous! But beneath her happy exterior, Anna is struggling. Her dad is working abroad and all her mum's time is taken up with worrying about ill baby Jack, so Anna is left to keep things together. The only person she can talk to isn't even a person; he's her dog, Sam. With so much to do, Anna is sure she's going to let everyone down. She starts to dream of running away, with best friend Sam at her side. But she'd never do anything crazy like that . . . would she? Anna's spent all her time worrying about everyone else - now they need to worry about Anna.
Anne Booth first came onto my radar after her then editor Non Pratt send me a proof of her first book Girl with a white dog claiming I would love it. She was right and ever since finishing it I have been eagerly waiting to get my hands on Anne's next book. I was very lucky indeed to find a copy of Dog Ears had made its way to me. I am pleased to announce that it was as good as I had hoped it would be.
Dog ears is the story of Anna who is a really good girl. She's trying really hard at home and school to do her best to help everyone out but secretly is finding it hard to cope with everything. She has the pressures of school to deal with alongside trying to support her mum who is dealing with a sick baby whilst her dad is away. Everyone is so busy that no one notices that Anna is really not holding it all together all that well.
Throughout this entire book I wanted to go and find Anna to scoop her up and look after her. She's in a really hard place and no one is really paying her all that much attention not because they don't love and value her but because they just have other priorities that are taking up their time. For me it made me think about how easy it is to forget about what those around you are going through underneath a seemingly normal and calm front and take it for granted that everything is OK when really it isn't. This book highlights, through Anna and other classmate's stories, what child and teenage carers do have to put up with on a daily basis without fuss or recognition simply because they have to get on with it
Having no one to talk to Anna confides in her pet dog over the course of the book as someone to let off steam to and talk to about what she experiences over the course of the day. I loved the relationship between Anna and her dog and seeing that real bond they had when Anna felt there was no one else to rely on. I think people who don't have pets all too easily dismiss what a significant relationship an animal can be in someone's life and this book captures that perfectly.
All in all a beautiful story which highlights in a sensitive and thoughtful way the issues facing young carers across the country. Thoroughly recommended.