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Children's Fiction Fantasy & Magic

The Dogs

by (author) Allan Stratton

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Feb 2016
Fantasy & Magic
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2015
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12



Now in paperbackthe internationally acclaimed psychological thriller from Governor General’s Award nominee Allan Stratton.

Cameron and his mom have been on the run for five years. His father is hunting them—or at least that’s what Cameron’s been told.

When they settle into an isolated farmhouse, Cameron soon finds himself embroiled in the unsolved mystery of a woman and child who disappeared decades ago, and he starts to hear and see things that just aren’t possible. What’s hiding in the night? What’s buried in the past? Are there dark secrets to uncover, or is Cameron’s own mind playing tricks on him?

In The Dogs, acclaimed author Allan Stratton manages to deliver at once a page-turning thriller and a powerful exploration of the realities of domestic violence and its after-effects.


About the author


Allan Stratton
est l'auteur de renommée internationale du roman Le secret de Chanda, un livre sur la liste d'honneur Michael L.
Printz. Son adaptation cinématographique, Life Above All, a
remporté le prix François Chalais au Festival de Cannes. Son dernier roman
thriller pour jeunes adultes, Les chiens, a gagné le prix Red
Maple de l'Association canadienne des bibliothèques et a été mis en
nomination pour le prix Arthur Ellis et le prix Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz.
Allan habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


Allan Stratton is an acclaimed playwright and author, who began his career acting at the Stratford Festival and regional theaters across Canada. His plays include "Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii" and "Rexy!," winner of a Chalmers Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Canadian Author's Association Award. Leslie's Journal is Allan's first novel for teens. Allan now lives in Toronto with his partner, a dog, three cats and any number of fish.

Allan Stratton's profile page


  • Winner, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award, Sundogs
  • Short-listed, Snow Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
  • Short-listed, IODE Canada Violet Downey Award
  • Winner, OLA Red Maple Award, Fiction
  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award, Best Juvenile/YA Book
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets
  • Commended, Quill & Quire, Books of the Year
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year

Excerpt: The Dogs (by (author) Allan Stratton)


Excerpt from The Dogs:

‘Cameron, honey. We have to go. Get your things.’

‘Go? What? Now?’

‘I don’t know how long we’ve got.’ She gets up and heads to her room. ‘He could be anywhere, around the block, who knows. But he’ll be back, you can count on it. And the police will be too late.’


‘There’s things you don’t understand, Cameron.’

Oh yeah? I understand lots, Mom. I understand I’m scared, for a start. But why? Because he’s tracked us down? Or because you’re crazy?

My clothes are already in a suitcase under my bed Mom made me pack two days ago, just in case. There’s room in the car for our bags, some coats, a box of dishes, some sheets and towels and the little TV. My grandparents will store the rest of our stuff in their basement there isn’t much the places we rent come furnished. I wish we could go to Grandma and Grandpa’s. Mom says we can’t. She says that’s the first place he’d look.

He – him – the guy in the car: Dad.

Mom backs the car onto the street. I look at the house. After a year, I was getting used to the place. This city too. I’d actually started making friends at school. So much for that.

We drive away slowly with the headlights off.


Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Dogs:

“*Stratton masterfully constructs a creepy gothic setting…A monstrous, stalking father, unhinging nightmares, a ghostly boy, wild dogs, and a moldy basement add creepy deliciousness... An engrossing blend of murder mystery and family story.” —Kirkus, Starred Review

“*What would it be like if the most frightening thing in your world lay at the heart of your own family? Stratton imagines this horror fully and convincingly.” —Quill and Quire, Starred Review

“Stratton’s depiction of setting and characters is masterful, and his ability to create tension and keep readers on edge is equally strong.” —The Montreal Gazette

“A small town horror with heart, The Dogs pokes relentlessly into the blackest corners of the psyche to reveal the secrets families keep for those they love.” —National Reading Campaign

“A skilfully written psychological thriller with plenty of suspense and chills as a boy and his mother flee a violent husband/father — and land right in the arms of a spooky mystery.” — Michelle Landsberg, CBC Children’s Book Panel

“Cameron’s research via newspaper archives, tax records and interviews makes this refreshingly like an old-fashioned mystery, but the passion and terror underlying his own family give it emotional complexity and suspense.” —The Toronto Star


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