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What's That in Dog Years?

Written by Ben Davis

Illustrated by Julia Christians

Key Stage 2 Key Stage 3

LoveReading View on What's That in Dog Years?

Simultaneously hilarious and heart-breaking this hugely empathetic tale also gently tackles mental health, divorce, bullying and friendship

Gizmo, a scruffy little mongrel, may well be my favourite canine character yet and we get to hear his side of the story in this dual narrative. Gizmo has been there since the day George was born. George decides to deal with the awful news from the vet, that at fourteen (seventy-eight in dog years) he may not have much longer to live, by creating a “bucket list’ of favourite things to enjoy together. Ben Davis is an expert at capturing the awkwardness of adolescence and gradually we get to understand the full back story as George accomplishes his mission. George struggles with anxiety and his home situation, his parents are separated, and life in Year 8 at school do nothing to help with that. The beautifully nuanced relationship with Gizmo is his only comfort it seems. As we come to understand what led to his friendship problems and the family break up and through a new friendship with Lib, forged around Gizmo and the bucket list, George’s resilience and confidence grows. Learning to empathise with Lib’s struggles with poverty and as a young carer also puts his own problems into perspective. Despite their hilarious misadventures there is a thoughtful message throughout of how to cope with change and ultimately with loss. Despite the sadness this is ultimately a hopeful and helpful read. Many young readers will empathise with the difficulties George and Lib experience and this book will reassure them while at the same time making them laugh. A perfect crossover text for upper primary and secondary libraries.

Joy Court

More About This Book

The last woof and testament of Gizmo the Wonder Dog!

What's That in Dog Years? Synopsis

Gizmo has been my best friend since the day I was born - he's always been around. But now they're telling me he might not always be around which completely sucks. I'm determined that me and Gizmo will have lots more fun and adventures before he goes - I mean, he loves parties, deserves pampering, and needs a break by the seaside. And as for that old saying about how you can't teach an old dog new tricks - it's true, you really can't! Gizmo's bucket list is up and running - unlike Gizmo who is totally lazy and demanding to be carried . . .

All the laugh-out-loud humour you'd expect from a Ben Davis book but with added heart and poignancy . . . and a four-legged character you'll fall in love with!

What's That in Dog Years? Press Reviews

Praise for My Embarrassing Dad's Gone Viral:

Books that try to harness the internet on the page are often a little stilted. Davis, by contrast, pulls off a modern tale of YouTube-ing. - The Observer

Book Information

ISBN: 9780192749215
Publication date: 4th July 2019
Author: Ben Davis
Illustrator: Julia Christians
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3

About Ben Davis

Ben Davis is an author currently living and working in Staffordshire with his wife, son, and wimpy dog. Ben Davis writes funny books for older children and teenagers including the Joe Cowley series, My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral and Make Me Awesome. When he’s not writing, he regularly visits schools and leads creative writing workshops.

More About Ben Davis

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