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Long Beach Reads One Book 2013 will be held:
March 12 - 19, 2013

"Have YOU read the book yet?"

2013 Featured Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author:
Garth Stein

Synopsis:

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs; a philosopher with a nearly human soul (an 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.  Using the techniques needed on the racetrack, one can successfully navigate all of the life's twists and turns.  This is a story of family, love, loyalty, and hope that is beautifully crafted and provides a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it.

Additional Partner Selections for Young Readers:

Garth Stein has also written a young-reader version entitled Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog.  Middle-schoolers will enjoy this chapter book for its action and great understanding of the dog's viewpoint.

For younger readers, the Long Beach Unified School District suggests one of these:  

(1) Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School  by Mark Teague. Delightfully illustrated and comically written, this story tells of Ike who is sent to obedience school for his misbehavior, but he begins to see the light.  

(2) A Dog's Life: the Autobiography of a Stray  by Ann M. Martin.  This book details the life of Squirrel, a dog born on a farm whose life takes several turns for the worse as she is forced to fend for herself, but she ultimately finds a happy home with responsible, loving humans.  Readers learn compassion from the poignant tales of neglect and abuse to dogs.  

(3) Sheep  by Valerie Hobbs.  "Sheep" is a Border Collie in this book; he was born on a sheep ranch but loses his home to a fire.  After a series of engaging and sometimes frightening experiences alone on the highway, Sheep finds a home with an orphan boy.  This book also teaches good lessons on compassion.