Talking in Animal

Terry Farish

Talking in Animal cover



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Siobhan feels closer to her ailing dog, Tree, than to any of the hard-to-understand humans in her life. The New Hampshire girl spends her days fantasizing about the dog kennel she'll have one day, and also helps a neighbor, Maddy, take care of injured wildlife. Suddenly, Maddy throws two curve balls?she's getting married, and her born-again Christian beliefs put her drastically at odds with Siobhan's vocal mother over the issue of distributing condoms at the high school. After conflict escalates and Tree gets sicker, a desperate Siobhan takes the only action she knows to get people's attention and give her dog one last adventure. Farish (Shelter for a Seabird) has an idiosyncratic and sophisticated way of writing that takes some getting used to?the pauses, half-uttered phrases and confusing thoughts are closer to how people really communicate than the polished cadences more typically found in novels. The condom plot might offend some, but it is realistically dealt with?the 11-year-old Siobhan is more interested in whether a condom could be used as a balloon than in its political or anatomical implications. And the ending will leave not a dry eye in the house. Ages 10-up. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. From School Grade 5-7-The summer of Siobhan's 12th birthday is one of pain, confusion, and learning about loss and caring. The girl's beloved dog is suffering from a progressive neurological disease. Her best adult friend, Maddy Todd, a fellow animal lover, is getting married. A new girl in the neighborhood, insists on following Siobhan as if they were friends. And her New Hampshire town is torn into two camps-one led by Maddy and the other by her mother-over the issue of condom distribution in school. The... read more