Fetching by Kiera Stewart is a darling mix of middle school, friendship and dogs.
Olivia, the protagonist, is plagued by feelings of inadequacy since her mother's mental illness meant she had to be hospitalized. Olivia feels that she herself is a ticking time bomb -- just waiting for the "crazy" gene to appear -- when she'll be institutionalized also.
Olivia has moved to be with her grandmother, Corny, an eccentric woman who collects stray dogs, trains them, and works training others' dogs. Once Olivia gets over her fear of dogs, she becomes Corny's assistant trainer.
In middle school, Olivia is bullied and tormented by the set of popular girls and one girl in particular, Brynne. The story begins with a disastrous scene when Olivia is tricked into sitting on a packet of ketchup. The obvious humiliation ensues with lots of laughter -- none of it Olivia's.
Olivia's friends are also subject to much the same treatment. and Olivia wants them to get out of the social hole they are in. Mulling this over, she comes to the conclusion that middle schools are inhabited by kids who are much like dogs.
So Olivia gets her friends together and explains her plan.
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