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Racing in the Rain


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Gr 4-7-An adaptation of Stein's adult novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain (HarperCollins, 2008). Enzo, an elderly dog who is preparing to die, reminisces about his life with a race-car driver. He is an observer and commenter on Denny's struggles to have a successful career and to raise his daughter despite professional and personal setbacks, including the death of his wife and a custody battle with her parents. The canine's take on things is occasionally far more knowing than a dog's or child's could be, and some themes will be difficult for a younger audience to relate to, although they will get the general emotional resonance and enjoy Enzo's optimistic and occasionally humorous view of humans. The most traumatic scene, Enzo's death, is spelled out clearly from the beginning and is handled in a positive and hopeful way as he is certain he will be reincarnated as a human. Kids looking for more adventure would be better served by Cynthia Kadohata's Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam (S & S, 2007), while those looking for stories they're more likely to relate to should try John Grogan's Marley: A Dog Like No Other (HarperCollins, 2007), but Racing in the Rain is a serviceable addition to collections looking for animal fiction.-Natasha Forrester, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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