'One Dog and His Boy' by Eva Ibbotson is her last book for children. This extraordinary writer and winner of many awards died days before seeing the uncorrected proofs of this book. She would be proud of the final result.
All Hal wants in the world is a dog. His parents have so much money they couldn't possibly spend it all, and they shower Hal with gifts, but refuse to get a dog.
"Too smelly, too messy, and liable to scratch the furniture" are just a few of the reasons his mother gives for not allowing a living creature in the house. She doesn't allow living things outside the home either, having a garden that consists of raked gravel so no messy dirt gets inside.
Finally, when nothing else will make Hal happy, his father rents him a dog -- an adorable little "Tottenham Terrier" or rather, a pure mutt or mongrel (the book is British, after all).
When Hal gets home from the dentist and the dog is gone, he finds out that Freckle never was his permanently -- just rented for the weekend. After losing his dog, nothing matters to Hal. His parents tell him that the dog will forget him, and he believes them.
However, introduce a few quirky characters and fate -- and the result is Hal on the lam with Freckle, the younger sister of their caretaker, and several of the other rentable dogs.
They are on their way north to Hal's grandparents -- down-to-earth people who live a simple life on the coast. The adventures on the way, the people whom the children meet (both good and bad) and how they finally end up all involve a circus, a mon
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