Books for Dog Lovers

Hey Bookies! Recently I read this book by Casey Griffin called Falling for the Underdog and I absolutely loved it for many reasons, but the most important was the importance of dogs in the book. I loved that aspect so much that I decided to do a short list of books for dog lovers.

Falling for the Underdog (A Rescue Dog Romance #2)
She dreams of Prince Charming. He’s seriously rough around the edges. Can they collar a dognapper and steal each other’s hearts?Addison Turner has her entire fairytale life planned out. But just as the dachshund lover is about to hit it big with her doggie grooming and fashion line, thieves snatch her valuable four-legged clients right from under her nose. And to her disgust, the only one who knows the show scene enough to help is the infuriatingly hot bartender who turns her down cold.
Cocktail-slinger extraordinaire Felix Vaughn longs to open his own bar. So when he gets a gig at a high-society tail-wagging event, he thinks his gravy train has arrived and isn’t about to involve himself with a suspected thief. But when more pooches get pinched and he’s fingered for the crime, he reluctantly teams up with the fluffy prima donna to find the pups and split the reward.
With her reputation on the line, Addison doggedly follows the clues, afraid she’s falling for a mutt. And as their chemistry reaches a boiling point, Felix reveals exactly how much of his heart he stands to lose…
Will they both end up in the doghouse, or will their love win Best in Show?
Paws off the Boss (A Rescue Dog Romance #1)
She’s in the doghouse. He’s in the penthouse. When their worlds collide, can their lonely hearts become one?

Aspiring veterinarian Piper Summers has worked herself to the bone to graduate. But after she loses two of her three jobs, Piper worries she and her dachshund will be tossed out on the street. So when a hunky, cash-rich CEO offers her a lucrative gig as his dog walker, she swallows her pride and takes the position.

Billionaire Aiden Caldwell buried his fun behind a firm handshake and a sharp suit. But when the fetching woman of his dreams accidentally mauls him, he’s determined to break his leash and retrieve her heart. And after hiring her to walk his rescue hound, he’s willing to jump through every hoop to win her affection.

Though Piper is falling head over tail with Aiden, when her precious rescue center is vandalized and the wealthy man offers help, she fears he only sees her as a charity case. And as Aiden tries to prove his intentions are true, he struggles when business and pleasure start to blur into a serious case of puppy love.

Can they shed all their doubts and let passion bark up the perfect tree?
OFF THE LEASH is a group portrait of dog people, specifically the strange, wonderful, neurotic, and eccentric dog people who gather at Amory Park, overlooking Boston near Fenway Park. And it’s about author Matthew Gilbert’s transformation, after much fear and loathing of dogs and social groups, into one of those dog people with fur on their jackets, squeaky toys in their hands, and biscuits in their pockets.
Gilbert, longtime TV critic at The Boston Globe, describes his reluctant trip into the dog park subculture, as the first-time owner of a stubbornly social Yellow Lab puppy named Toby. Like many Americans, he was happily accustomed to the safe distance of TV viewing and cell-phone web surfing, tethered to the digital leash. But the headstrong, play-obsessed Toby pulls him to Amory, and Amory becomes an exhilarating dose of presence for him. The joyous chaos of wrestling dogs and the park’s cast of offbeat dog owners – the “pack of freaks” – gradually draw him into the here and now. At the dog park, the dog owners go off the leash, too.
Dog-park life can be tense. When dogs fight, their owners – such as the reckless Charlotte – bare their teeth at each other, too. Amid the rollicking dog play, feelings tend to surface faster, unedited. But Gilbert shows how Amory is an idyllic microcosm, too, the home of enduring friendships and, as the droll but vulnerable Hayley knows, romantic crushes. Meeting daily, a gathering of dog owners can be like group therapy, or The Office, or a standup concert.
As a TV critic, Matthew Gilbert is well-known by his readership for his humorous and wry writing style. A charming narrative that will appeal to anyone who has ever enjoyed watching a puppy scamper through a park, OFF THE LEASH is a paean to dog lovers and their pets everywhere, perfect for fans of Marley & Me and Merle’s Door.
Travels with Charley in Search of America by [John Steinbeck, Parini, Jay]
In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.
 
His course took him through almost forty states: northward from Long Island to Maine; through the Midwest to Chicago; onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (with which he fell in love), and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas; eastward through the Mojave, New Mexico, Arizona, to the vast hospitality of Texas, to New Orleans and a shocking drama of desegregation; finally, on the last leg, through Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to New York.
In 2002, Larry Levin and his twin sons, Dan and Noah, took their terminally ill cat to the Ardmore Animal Hospital outside Philadelphia to have the beloved pet put to sleep. What would begin as a terrible day suddenly got brighter as the ugliest dog they had ever seen–one who was missing an ear and had half his face covered in scar tissue–ran up to them and captured their hearts. The dog had been used as bait for fighting dogs when he was just a few months old. He had been thrown in a cage and left to die until the police rescued him and the staff at Ardmore Animal Hospital saved his life. The Levins, whose sons are themselves adopted, were unable to resist Oogy’s charms, and decided to take him home.

Heartwarming and redemptive, Oogy is the story of the people who were determined to rescue this dog against all odds, and of the family who took him home, named him “Oogy” (an affectionate derivative of ugly), and made him one of their own.
Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.
Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.
As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?
The stubbornly hilarious Lulu has decided it’s time to buckle down and earn some cash. How else can she save up enough money to buy the very special thing that she is ALWAYS and FOREVER going to want? After some failed attempts at lucrative gigs (baking cookies, spying, reading to old people), dog walking seems like a sensible choice. But Brutus, Pookie, and Cordelia are not interested in making the job easy, and the infuriatingly helpful neighborhood goody-goody, Fleischman, has Lulu at the end of her rope. And with three wild dogs at the other end, Lulu’s patience is severely tested. Will she ever make a friend—or the money she needs?
Blah! Mr. Raisin is a bit of a grump. He lives all alone in a little house, and he likes it that way just fine.

One day, a mysterious basket appears on Mr. Raisin’s doorstep. When he opens it up, it seems there’s nothing inside . . . until he notices a floating dog bobbing along his ceiling.

What follows is a heartwarming, hilarious tale about embracing the unexpected―and finding friendship that takes you to new heights, in John Himmelman’s Floaty.
Duke, Actually
Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon and heir to the Duke of Aquilla, is trapped. Under pressure from his domineering father, he must marry a suitable bride before he inherits a title that feels like a prison sentence. In New York to meet a prospective wife, he ditches his responsibilities and appears on Dani Martinez’s doorstep. He’s been intrigued by the no-nonsense professor since he met her at the Eldovian royal wedding and is determined to befriend her.

Newly single Dani is done with love—she even has a list entitled “Things I Will Never Again Do for a Man”—which is why she hits it off with notorious rake Max. He’s trying to escape relationships, and she’s resolved to avoid them at all costs. All they want from each other is friendship and a distraction from their messy lives.

As their bond begins to deepen, so does their attraction, until they end up in bed together. Falling in love was never part of the plan—Max’s family doesn’t see Dani as a perfect match, even as his heart tells him she’s the one, and Dani isn’t sure she can make it in Max’s world. Can they find the courage to live they life they desire, even if it means risking everything?
I Hate You More
Ruby Taylor gave up pageant life the day she turned eighteen and figured she’d never look back. But when an old friend begs her to show her beloved Golden Retriever at the upcoming Canine Classic, Ruby reluctantly straps on her heels and gets to work.

If only she knew exactly what the adorably lazy lump of a dog was getting her into.

If there’s one thing veterinarian Spencer Wilson knows in this world, it’s dogs. Human beings are an entirely different animal. Especially stubborn, gorgeous women clearly in way over their heads. As judge for the local dog show, Spencer advises Ruby to quit while she still can, but her old fervor for winning has returned―and she wants to show the stern, broody-eyed judge that she’s more than just a pretty face. In the end, she’ll show him who’s best in show.
Seven Perfect Things
Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day.

To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart.

As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life—and the puppies’ lives—would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness.

Seven Perfect Things is a story about joy, where to find it, how to know it when you see it, and the courage it takes to hang on to it once you have it.
Best in Snow (Andy Carpenter, #24)
In this Christmas mystery, lawyer Andy Carpenter and his golden retriever, Tara, are on the beat after a body turns up in the snow and a journalist is the prime suspect.

Christmas has come early to the town of Paterson, New Jersey, in the form of a snowstorm that dumps two feet of snow on the ground. Lawyer Andy Carpenter likes snow – white Christmas and all that – but it can cause problems for the walks he takes his dogs on every day.

When Andy’s golden retriever, Tara, goes to play in the snow and instead discovers a body, Andy ends up on the phone with the local newspaper editor. The murder victim is Mayor Alex Oliva, who had an infamous relationship with the newspaper. Last year a young reporter published an expose, and Oliva had him fired for libel. Now, the young reporter – and prime suspect – is in need of a lawyer.

Andy agrees to take the case, though it’s not looking good this holiday season. The evidence is piling up faster than the snow in Best in Snow, the next Christmas mystery in the bestselling Andy Carpenter series from David Rosenfelt.
A Spot of Trouble
Violet March and Sam Nash are as different as night and day and have been enemies ever since Violet accused Sam of dognapping her beloved Dalmatian. Sam knows that’s impossible—for one thing, his dog Cinder is a well-trained fire safety dog who never steps out of line. Violet’s dog Sprinkles, on the other hand, has never met a command that she didn’t ignore completely, much like her bubbly owner. So when Sprinkles and Cinder accidentally switch places during the annual police vs. fire department softball tournament, Violet is thrilled by her dog’s sudden perfect behavior, while stubborn-yet-charming Sam is horrified to find that his dog no longer listens.

But when the dogs are eventually switched back, Sam and Violet are shocked to find that not everything is as simple as it seems. And a little puppy love might be just the thing they’ve been missing…
Kristy and the Snobs

Kristy’s mom got remarried and their family moved to the ritzy neighborhood across town. The other members of The Baby-sitters Club think it’s a good opportunity to get some new business, but the kids who live nearby aren’t very friendly. They criticize Kristy’s clothes and make fun of the BSC. And, worst of all, they laugh at Louie, Kristy’s pet collie, who’s getting old and not feeling well. These kids are total snobs! But if anyone can put them in their place, it’s The Baby-sitters Club!

Allergic: A Graphic Novel
At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!

Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.
Separation Anxiety
Judy never intended to start wearing the dog. But when she stumbled across her son Teddy’s old baby sling during a halfhearted basement cleaning, something in her snapped. So: the dog went into the sling, Judy felt connected to another living being, and she’s repeated the process every day since.

Life hasn’t gone according to Judy’s plan. Her career as a children’s book author offered a glimpse of success before taking an embarrassing nose dive. Teddy, now a teenager, treats her with some combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled professional “snackologist” who she can’t afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website—a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.

Wickedly funny and surprisingly tender, Separation Anxiety offers a frank portrait of middle-aged limbo, examining the ebb and flow of life’s most important relationships. Tapping into the insecurities and anxieties that most of us keep under wraps, and with a voice that is at once gleefully irreverent and genuinely touching, Laura Zigman has crafted a new classic for anyone taking fumbling steps toward happiness.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life … as only a dog could tell it. 
Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women’s undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. Obedience school did no good—Marley was expelled. Neither did the tranquilizers the veterinarian prescribed for him with the admonishment, “Don’t hesitate to use these.”

And yet Marley’s heart was pure. Just as he joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley shared the couple’s joy at their first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over the miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived and when the screams of a seventeen-year-old stabbing victim pierced the night. Marley shut down a public beach and managed to land a role in a feature-length movie, always winning hearts as he made a mess of things. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit’s end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.
A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar’s paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles’ once peaceful home. When Edgar’s father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm—and into Edgar’s mother’s affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father’s death, but his plan backfires—spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father’s murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.
Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog
While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a dog—a Labrador mix—who was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merle’s native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.

A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle’s Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally.
Where the Red Fern Grows
A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn. Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.
The Call of the Wild
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike. 

Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, and Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator, are quick to take a new case involving a frantic mother searching for her teenage daughter. This well-behaved and gifted student may or may not have been kidnapped, but she has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. With Chet’s highly trained nose leading the way, their hunt for clues takes them into the desert to biker bars and other exotic locales—until the bad guys try to turn the tables and the resourceful duo lands in the paws of peril. Spencer Quinn’s irresistible mystery kicks off a delightful new series that will have readers panting for more.

Karma's A Bitch (A Pet Psychic Mystery #1)
Darwin Winters, reluctant pet psychic, is determined to leave her family’s paranormal past behind and lead a normal life. So she strikes out on her own and opens up a new pet boutique in St. Pete, Florida. When a local homeless man she befriends is found dead, and the police assume it’s a suicide, Darwin has no choice but to use her gift to help collar the killer.

She adopts his grieving mastiff, Karma—and with the dog’s help—tries to piece together the events of that fatal night. Accepting the visions is one thing, but can she solve the mystery without revealing her powers to the jaded, yet drool-worthy, detective in charge of the case? Or will the killer put an end to her psychic sleuthing and bury the truth for good?
A Shot in the Bark (Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries, #1)
Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t, and neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, and he is convinced someone is not who they seem. As the investigation uncovers secrets, Lia struggles to cope with warring emotions while a killer watches and plans.
Desperate Housedogs (Pampered Pets Mystery #1)
In posh Laguna Beach, murder has gone to the dogs.

When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help Kevin Blackstone with his two misbehaving German Shepherd dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors. What she doesn’t expect is that two hours later the police will find Kevin dead, his dogs impounded; and that as the last person to see Kevin alive (well, except for the killer) she is suddenly a person of interest, at least according to Homicide Detective Judd Malone.
Murder, She Barked (Paws and Claws Mystery, #1)
Holly Miller’s life has gone to the dogs. She has no job, her boyfriend’s former flame is sniffing around, and a scruffy but loveable Jack Russell Terrier is scattering crumbs all over her borrowed car. Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse, a troubling phone call about her grandmother sends her rushing home to the family inn on Wagtail Mountain.

The staff—and a frisky Calico kitten named Twinkletoes—adopts Holly and her new dog on arrival. But someone in this friendly town is bad to the bone. One of the employees at the inn has been killed in a hit-and-run accident—which is looking anything but accidental. Now Holly and her furry companions will have to nose out the murderer before someone else gets muzzled.
Dial C For Chihuahua (Barking Detective #1)
Pepe may have soft white fur, big brown eyes, and mucho attitude–but he’s no furry fashion fad. Pepe can talk–even if his new owner, Geri Sullivan, seems to be the only person who can understand him.

When Geri takes on her first assignment for a quirky investigator named Jimmy G and stumbles over a Seattle millionaire’s corpse, Pepe proves to be worth his weight in liver treats. Suspicion falls on the not-so-grieving widow, who wants to finance a reality TV show, Dancing With Dogs.

Normally, Pepe wouldn’t be caught muerte in a sparkly costume. However, he has to sniff out the real killer and keep Geri safe. Lesser dogs might flinch. But Pepe isn’t the kind to turn tail and run. . .
In Dog We Trust (Golden Retriever Mystery #1)
After a bad divorce and a brief prison term for computer hacking, 42-year-old Steve Levitan has returned to his home town of Stewart’s Crossing and taken a part-time job as an adjunct professor of English at his alma mater, Eastern College. While walking around his gated community, he becomes friendly with his next-door neighbor, Caroline Kelly, and her golden retriever, Rochester.

When Caroline is shot and killed while walking Rochester, Steve becomes the dog’s temporary guardian. Together, these two unlikely sleuths work to uncover the mystery behind Caroline’s death.
Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight. ‘Everyone in Greenall Bridge knew Sam Carraclough’s Lassie. In fact, you might say that she was the best-known dog in the village …because nearly every man in the village agreed she was the finest collie he had ever laid eyes on.’ Sam’s son Joe and Lassie are a devoted pair but a time comes when they have to be parted. The Carracloughs are not well off and when they fall on hard times Sam is forced to sell his champion dog to the Duke of Rudling, whose great estate borders their Yorkshire village. But Lassie escapes and makes her way home to the Carracloughs. The Duke, not one to be tricked by a dog, claims Lassie back and she is taken many miles away to the Duke’s other home in Scotland. But again Lassie pines for her proper home and escapes. Undaunted by the challenge, she sets off on the long trek back to her Yorkshire home. She faces many dangers and adventures along the way but she also meets some kind people who offer her help and comfort. At the end, when Joe has given up all hope of ever seeing his long-lost companion again, the weary Lassie returns and he finds her waiting for him at the school gates in her accustomed spot, just like old times. Lassie and Joe are joyfully reunited. Against all the odds, Lassie has come home!
Shiloh (Shiloh Series Book 1) by [Phyllis Reynolds Naylor]
When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it’s love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty’s secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd’s anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

Lemon Drop Falls by Heather Clark

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Lemon Drop Falls

Author: Heather Clark

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4.5/5

Diversity: POC side characters

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, contemporary, mental health, camping, grief processing

Publication Date: February 14, 2022

Genre: MG Contemporary

Age Relevance: 10+ (parental death, grief, depression, anxiety, panic attack, parentification, trauma)

Explanation of Above: The book focuses on the MC who witnessed her mother’s death, which is detailed later in the book. The book discusses depression, anxiety, and shows three panic attacks. The book also goes into detail about trauma and grief. There is also partification shown in the book, in which the MC is forced to take on a parent role around her younger siblings and father.

Publisher: North Star Editions

Pages: 256

Synopsis: Morgan is devastated by her mother’s sudden death. Before, Mom’s amazing organizational skills kept the family on track, and her bowl of lemon drops was always on hand to make difficult conversations easy, turning life’s sour into sweet. After, there’s no one to help Morgan navigate her new role caring for her younger siblings, her worries about starting junior high, and her increasingly confusing friendships. All she can do is try to fulfill her mother’s final request: Keep them safe, Morgan. Be brave for them. Help them be happy.

When Dad insists on taking the family on their regular summer camping trip, and Morgan’s efforts to keep her promise to Mom seem doomed to fail, Morgan’s anxiety spirals into a panic attack, and Dad treats her like she’s impossibly broken. Unable to share her fears and needs with Dad, and desperate to prove she’s got the strength to hold the family together, Morgan sets off alone to hike a flooding canyon trail. But somewhere on that lonely and dangerous journey, Morgan will encounter the truth about the final words her mother left her, the power in finding her own voice, and the possibility of new beginnings.

Review: I really liked this book! I loved how well the author described depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and grief. The book did well to discuss them in a sensitive manner and was very helpful to me in helping me with my anxiety, but also could be very helpful to younger readers to help them understand their own mental health and how to deal with big feelings and conflicting issues. The characters were well developed, the world building was well done, and the writing itself was amazing. I also loved the plot and wanted more and more as I went on.

The only issue I had with the book was one line that a side character said. The character stated something along the lines that boys and girls pair up, that’s what they do. The line wasn’t really challenged and the book didn’t contain any 2SLGBT+ pairings. While it’s not required that the book should have contained that, I felt like the line was a slight at 2SLGBT+ relationships and people. It’s not a big part of the book, but it made me pause and question the author as to why they would include that. The book is enjoyable otherwise, but if you’re reading this to your little one you just might want to be aware of that and to teach them better accordingly.

Verdict: I need a lemon drop to discuss my feelings of love on this book please =)

Book Info:

Lemon Drop Falls by Heather Clark

Genre: Middle Grade General

Publishing Date: February 15, 2022

Synopsis:

Brave the sour to taste the sweet.

Morgan is devastated by her mother’s sudden death. Before, Mom’s amazing organizational skills kept the family on track, and her bowl of lemon drops was always on hand to make difficult conversations easy, turning life’s sour into sweet. After, there’s no one to help Morgan navigate her new role caring for her younger siblings, her worries about starting junior high, and her increasingly confusing friendships. All she can do is try to fulfill her mother’s final request: Keep them safe, Morgan. Be brave for them. Help them be happy.

When Dad insists on taking the family on their regular summer camping trip, and Morgan’s efforts to keep her promise to Mom seem doomed to fail, Morgan’s anxiety spirals into a panic attack, and Dad treats her like she’s impossibly broken. Unable to share her fears and needs with Dad, and desperate to prove she’s got the strength to hold the family together, Morgan sets off alone to hike a flooding canyon trail. But somewhere on that lonely and dangerous journey, Morgan will encounter the truth about the final words her mother left her, the power in finding her own voice, and the possibility of new beginnings.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58449540-lemon-drop-falls

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lemon-Drop-Falls-Heather-Clark/dp/1631635794/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=9781631635793&linkCode=qs&qid=1639149461&s=books&sr=1-1#detailBullets_feature_div

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lemon-drop-falls-heather-clark/1140114248?ean=9781631635793

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Lemon-Drop-Falls-Heather-Clark/9781631635793?ref=grid-view&qid=1639149691497&sr=1-1

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781631635793

About the Author:

Heather Clark grew up near the Rocky Mountains of Canada, then followed the mountain range south, to her current home in Utah, where she lives with her husband and three children who inspire the books she writes. Heather’s work as a writer, photographer, and teacher helps her see the beauty and unique value in every person. After dealing with her own childhood anxiety and OCD, Heather is passionate about representing neurodiverse children powerfully in fiction. When she’s not working, you can find Heather camping, hiking, boardgaming, or reading and celebrating books at MGBookParty.com. You can learn more about Heather and her books at HeatherClarkBooks.com. LEMON DROP FALLS is her debut novel.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.heatherclarkbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hclarkwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherclarkbooks/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21661377.Heather_Clark

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherclarkbooks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/onewomansworld/lemon-drop-falls/

Tour Schedule:

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