Raising Lumie

Viking. Jun. 2020. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593113202.
Gr 5 Up–Bauer adds another title to her animal tales such as Little Dog Lost and Little Cat’s Luck, this time for an older audience. Seventh-grader Olive is new to town; her father’s recent death from cancer has left her in the care of Maudie, an adult half-sister she’s known for only a few months. After a chance meeting with Jordan, a 12-year-old boy who’s losing his sight and planning a presentation on raising service dogs, Olive and her sister accept the task of training a yellow Labrador puppy they name Lumie. Bauer skillfully weaves in details of training as both dog and girl gain confidence and a bank of friends. Some chapters are told in third person, others in first person by Olive. There is a lot going on in this story. Maudie has an insensitive fiancé who comes and goes, and Olive has some opportunities to exhibit plumbing skills she learned from her cherished father. Several quirky neighbors make cameos. Jordan and a former buddy sporadically make appearances. Service dogs are attacked by animals in two separate incidents.
VERDICT Despite the sometimes-jerky storyline, fans of dog fiction such as the “Dog’s Purpose” series will certainly appreciate this novel.

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