Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
A story of a boy and his dog and their adventures, which will appeal to the many children who are dog lovers. It is also a sensitive story of love and loss, and of making a new life for oneself. Luke is not yet 12 when his father dies of a heart attack, leaving him an orphan. Small for his age and something of a loner, he moves from the city to the country to live with his aunt and uncle. He is naturally homesick and grieving the loss of his father. His well-meaning and kindly aunt and uncle do their best for him; but his only real friend and comfort becomes Dan, the farm’s elderly, one-eyed collie. Practical Uncle Henry considers Dan useless now that he is too old to be a watch-dog and decides that Dan should be “put down.” Luke, whose sense of dignity and loyalty transcend the practical, frantically tries to save Dan’s life, providing for heart-racing suspense as he makes his stand against the expedient world of adults.
About the authors
Morley Callaghan was the author of fifteen novels, including A Time for Judas, It's Never Over, The Loved and the Lost, and Such Is My Beloved. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and received a host of honours in Canada, including the Governor General's Award for Fiction.
Jane Urquhart was born in the far north of Ontario. She is the author of eight internationally acclaimed novels, among them The Whirlpool, which received France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger; Away, winner of the Trillium Award, The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award and a finalist for the Orange Prize in the UK and The Stone Carvers, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and Britain’s Booker Prize. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction and four books of poetry. She has written a biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery and was editor of the Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories. Her work, which is published in many countries, has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Urquhart has received ten honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario and the Royal Military College of Canada. She has served on the Board of PEN Canada, on the Advisory Board for the Restoration of the Vimy Memorial and on several international prize juries including that of the International Dublin IMPAC Award, the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the American International Neustadt Award.
Her most recent novel, The Night Stages, was released in 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US, McClelland and Stewart in Canada and Oneworld in the UK.
Urquhart lives in southeastern Ontario with her husband, artist Tony Urquhart.
“A single vision encompasses these people in all their self-contradictions, betrayals, nobility, bewilderment… every pattern leads out into a larger atmosphere of mercy and wonder.” —Margaret Avison
“The story poses in opposition disinterested love and practical use and teaches how ‘love’ must be flawed by ‘use,’ and how love must be preserved in a world set to destroy it.” —Commonwealth
"Literature I highly recommend it for middle school children, but I would recommend parents read it too, so they can talk about it with the young readers, can explain how things once were with people and pets - and sometimes still are." —Library Thing
Other titles by Morley Callaghan
Such Is My Beloved
Penguin Modern Classics Edition
The Complete Stories of Morley Callaghan
Ancient Lineage and Other Stories
It's Never Over
The Loved and the Lost
More Joy in Heaven
They Shall Inherit the Earth
Morley Callaghan: Essays, Reviews, Meditations and Talks