Monday, May 20, 2013

The Dogs of Winter

The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron, October 1, 2012. 320 pages. Published by Arthur A. Levine Books. Source: Blog tour (showed up late).

A small boy, a cruel city, and the incredible dogs who save him.

Based on a true story!

When Ivan's mother disappears, he's abandoned on the streets of Moscow, with little chance to make it through the harsh winter. But help comes in an unexpected form: Ivan is adopted by a pack of dogs, and the dogs quickly become more than just his street companions: They become his family. Soon Ivan, who used to love reading fairytales, is practically living in one, as he and his pack roam the city and countryside, using their wits to find food and shelter, dodging danger, begging for coins. But Ivan can’t stay hidden from the world of people forever. When help is finally offered to him, will he be able to accept it? Will he even want to?

A heart-pounding tale of survival and a moving look at what makes us human.
First Sentence:

I dream of dogs.

The Dogs of Winter very nearly broke my heart when I read it. While I may not have shed a tear while reading, I could not bring myself to put this book down until I knew what would be the final outcome for the Dog Boy and his pack because the author’s writing just grabbed me with this tale of hardship and the bleak existence of the children left to fend for themselves on the streets of Russia.

When I first signed on to read Bobbie Pyron’s The Dogs of Winter I was not sure what to expect, but I was not expecting a story that would make my heart ache at times and at other times make me smile. Part of the reasons this is such an incredible book is that the author tells the story from Ivan’s perspective as he looks back on his days on the streets running wild with the dogs. It was interesting because it made you want to know how he made it off the streets alive.
        
What I enjoyed most about The Dogs of Winter would have to be the journey that Ivan unwillingly went on. While his story was sad, I loved it for the rawness of the story and because it was interesting to see how Ivan was trying to hold onto what he knew was right and was wrong. I know, I am doing a horrible job of explaining why I enjoyed this one so much, but, there was just so many feelings attached to this book that I do not even know where to begin.

I cannot think of anything about the actual book or the author’s writing that I found myself unable to enjoy. Although, the one thing that I found hardest to stomach while reading The Dogs of Winter would have to be the what Ivan and the other children suffered while living on the streets. It was just so sad to read about the way they were treated and how most people just walked on by without even giving them a second glance. The other hardest thing that was hard for me to handle while reading this one was how the streets changed Ivan and how after some time he forgot his mother, as, well as what it was like to be cared for by other humans.
 
Final Verdict: The Dogs of Winter: If this incredible written story does not make you feel something, nothing will. An excellent story that will keep you at the edge of your seat and not leave you for a long time.

The Dogs of Winter earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.

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