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Book Review: Dog Gone by Cynthia Chapman Willis


DOG GONE is about twelve-year-old Dill (short for Dylan), who is desperately trying to keep her family from falling apart. Her father is always at work, her mother is gone, and their dog, Dead End, seems to be here one moment and missing the next.

And big trouble is brewing. A wild pack of dogs is destroying local livestock and property, and the sheriff has ordered them to be shot. Is this where Dead End has been disappearing to? How far will Dill and her best friend, a boy nicknamed Cub, go to uncover the truth, and hold together the last strands of a family that seems to be unraveling?

“I believe DOG GONE would be of particular interest to your readers as one of the main characters in the novel, G.D., is the protagonist’s grandfather,” says author Cynthia Willis. “The two share a very close relationship and G.D. is pivotal in helping Dill to solve her problems and come to a final resolution.

“In various descriptions of DOG GONE, the grandparent relationship between Dill and her grandfather is cited as a related theme. Because of that, I recently signed copies of DOG GONE for a large group of grandparents who read DOG GONE with their grandchildren.” Dog Gone


Feiwel & Friends, April 2008

Grade range 3 to 6, age range is 8 to 12

Middle-grade fiction (realistic fiction)

224 pages

$16.95 hardback, $6.99 paperback


Cynthia Chapman Willis, a former textbook editor, is an author of children’s books and instructional materials for elementary classrooms. Her first middle grade novel, Dog Gone, published by Feiwel and Friends is now available online and in local bookstores.

Cynthia’s second novel, BUCK FEVER, also published by Feiwel and Friends, will come out in late October.


“I couldn’t put this down. More than a dog story, this is a many-layered tale of loss and grief, hope and triumph.”-Ann M. Martin, Newbery Honor winner and author of A Dog’s Life

“Along with the emotional content comes the mystery of Dead End, with tension that continues to rise as Dill tries to determine if her dog is a killer, and, if so, how to save him.”-Booklist

“Set on a Southern farm, the author peppers her story with homey turns of phrases and strong secondary characters . . . Willis, an author to watch, keeps the narrative tightly focused on Dill and her resistance to facing her grief. This well-told story, spiced with humor and facts on animal care, has a satisfying, appealing conclusion.”-Kirkus Reviews

For more information on DOG GONE, BUCK FEVER and Cynthia Willis, please see www.cynthiawillis.com .

For more information about Jim, please see www.jimwhiting.com. To inquire about availability of specific titles or to send a comment, write him at jimruns3@gmail.com.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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