Dog Lost is one of the best children's book I have ever read. And that's saying something as I have read hundreds and hundreds of middle aged children's fiction.
In Dog Lost, Ingrid Lee manages to weave a complex tale which has a dog and a young boy, his love, at the center. There are other important characters and all the characters are fully developed in terms of what is needed by the story. And it's quite a story.
A boy who lives with an abusive father gets a gift of a dog that the father wins one night. When the dog ends up costing money (of course!), the father takes the dog to the town dump and leaves him there.
But they never give up on each other--the boy and his dog. And when the story comes together, it really comes together. Lee writes masterfully and pulls all the various strings of the web together in one heartstring tugging finale.
Buy this book for your young friends. It's perfect for 4th through 7th grade. I bought a copy for each of the 3 teachers I work with -- it's just that good.