By Eleanor Estes
This is a cute little story about the Pye Family: Mama, Papa, Jerry and Rachel, who adopt a puppy they name Ginger (who's a boy). Ginger is a brilliant dog that goes on lots of adventures with Rachel and Ginger, until Thanksgiving day when he is stolen out of the backyard. The rest of the story follows Rachel and Jerry as they attempt to find Ginger and rescue him from the "Unsavory Character" that took him.
This book is by no means great literature. It's pretty silly and very predictable. But, I liked it. I thought it was cute and fun, and it made me wish I had grown up in Cranberry with Jerry and Rachel. There is something so wistful about being allowed at 9 and 10 (and at times Uncle Benny, aged 3, got to participate to) to wander freely around town. I loved that Jerry, Rachel and Uncle Benny spent the afternoon dusting the church pews in order to get the money required to purchase Ginger. It's all just so light hearted. In a weird way it reminded me of Half Magic by Edward Eager. The two stories have absolutely nothing in common, but the childlike innocence and allowance of a free reign both really resonated with me.
The story is very predictable. I figured out who Unsavory was pretty much immediately, and it did get a little frustrating that the kids had no idea who it could possibly be. But, I think that may have been part growing up in that era. **SPOILER** Who would think that just "a boy in my class" could possibly be that bad guy? **END SPOILER**
Overall, it was a really fun sweet story. I think I would have loved if my dad had read this one to me when I was younger. It has a pretty good read aloud feel to it, and the adventure never gets scary enough to frighten even the youngest listeners.