Dog 4491

256p. Bucking Horse. 2013. Tr $16. ISBN 9780984446049; pap. $8. ISBN 9780984446056. LC 2013906081.
Gr 3–6—Sam's attempt to return a lost dog to its owner on the other side of Enterprise turns into a time travel adventure and a foray into local politics. A unique coincidence of a passing comet and a lightning strike enables the dog, Sophie, to routinely make the journey from her 1926 home with 11-year-old Rollie to Sam's time in 2012 (along with anyone else who is in Rollie's bedroom closet with her). Sam follows the canine back to 1926 and finds a kindred spirit in Rollie. The boys are shocked by the way time has changed their city; Sam is amazed by the flourishing Enterprise of 1926, years before the mass exodus to the suburbs engendered by the Expressway, whereas Rollie is revolted by the decrepit, deserted state of his former neighborhood in 2012. Rollie, Sam, and eventually Sam's grandfather, Horace, search for a way to help Tim Andropolis-a recently fired City Planner who is opposing further expansion of the Expressway and proposing a rail-based mass transit system that will repopulate and revitalize downtown Enterprise. Andropolis's main opposition are the Cheesebro brothers, whose ancestors were equally troubling in 1926. Dog 4491 implements time travel to effortlessly compare the "good old days" with current times in a dying downtown, giving readers an introduction to the topic of urban development. Some of the social commentary is a bit heavy-handed: Sam is described as being out of shape because "his school had cut their P.E. program the year before" and the state achievement tests' acronym is "TIL-Testing Instead of Learning". Andropolis, the Cheesebro brothers and the corrupt Mayor are stereotypical, two-dimensional characters. A purchase for larger libraries or fans of the author.—Kathy Cherniavsky, Ridgefield Library, CT

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