Here is a tale that questions who we are and how we relate to the natural world. He is born on a bare hillside, near the end of the Dry Time. Abandoned by his mother, cared for and suckled only by a dog, he becomes a creature of the wilds. To the poor villagers, he hardly appears human at all, and they reject him. Yet the dogboy, as he is called, proves to be a survivor in this USBBY Outstanding International Book. Against all odds, and despite his savage upbringing, he grows into a "special" child--someone destined to change the lives of all who cross his path.
Citations And Professional Reviews Dogboy by Victor Kelleher has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 01/01/2007
Kirkus Review - Children - 11/01/2006 page 1123
Horn Book Magazine - 11/01/2006 page 716
School Library Journal - 12/01/2006 page 146
Voice of Youth Advocates - 12/01/2006 page 444
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks - 03/01/2007 page 297
Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2007 page 94
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Publisher Front Street
ISBN 1932425764 ISBN13 9781932425765
Availability 0 units.
More About Victor Kelleher
Victor Kelleher remains one of Australia's most celebrated writers for both adults and children. His novels have received many awards and commendations, including the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award and the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award. Formerly an associate professor of literature, he now writes full time.
This book is set in an unidentified place: perhaps the Fertile Crescent, perhaps Europe. The events take place at some unidentified time in the past. On the upper slopes of a high mountain, the Great Father, a woman gives birth to a boy. For reasons of her own she immediately deserts the child, but a pregnant dog stays behind to protect him. The dog gives birth to her own pups and the boy suckles from her teats. The dog drags the child and pups to a nearby farm, but the farmer immediately drowns all the pups but one, and would drown the child if it were not for the pleas of his wife. This horrible act is the first of many in the history of Dog Boy. The story stretches from Dog Boy's birth to adulthood.
The book is written in simple language, and has the atmosphere of a folk-tale, but it is definitely not simple thematically. It is an excellent story for teenagers who like to think deeply about life. Are we entirely products of our upbringing, or do we have potential to be what we dream we could be? Is man the pinnacle of the animal world, or are we simply good at cheating and destroying things? Do mysterious, uncanny events ever occur, or are all events simply coincidence?
I read this book as an adult and found it fascinating. Its climax is truly moving. If you enjoy fantasy you will probably like this tale, although I do not believe that it fits perfectly into that genre. The book is too much about 'real life', whatever that is.
An Australian Aura Dec 4, 2006
Left on a hillside in a satchel in a country decimated by drought, the foundling is nursed by a mother dog. Swept away from the hillside by an unusual flood to the outskirts of the village of Bethel, the satchel is pulled from the river by Magda, a poor servant of the headman. The dog resumes her care of the human infant and her one remaining pup. Rejected as unnatural by the headman, the unnamed child, called "Dogboy," is left to die. He doesn't.
In this totally enthralling story of a wild child, Dogboy grows up on the fringes of the village with only the dogs and Magda as allies. As he matures, he becomes wise in the ways of nature but totally naive in the ways of humans. Because of this naivete, he believes in two visiting charlatans and decides to journey downstream on what Dogsboy perceives is an invitation. He is searching for their ciy in order to study with them to become a great shaman. His journey to self-knowledge is achieved only through great suffering complicated by his canine history. This amazingly insightful story, with an allusive strand of magic weaving through it, possesses an Australian aura from its Australian author.