Enzo, the lovable mutt who tells this story, knows he is different from other dogs. While most dogs love to chase cars, Enzo longs to race them. He learns all about racing and the world around him by watching TV and by listening to the words of his best friend and owner, Denny, an up-and-coming race car driver, and his daughter, Zoë, his beloved companion. Enzo finds that life is just like being on the racetrack—it isn't simply about going fast. By applying the rules of racing to his world, Enzo takes on his family's challenges and emerges a hero. In the end, Enzo holds in his heart the dream that Denny will go on to be a racing champion with Zoë by his side.
Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog—Book Review
This is the "young reader's version" of the best-selling adult book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Told from the perspective of Enzo, the family dog, this is a moving story about love and loss, family, dreams, and the bond between a dog and its "people." Enzo is a perceptive narrator, and tells about his life from puppyhood to the expansion of his human family to include a wife and baby. Enzo, a sensitive soul who feels more human than dog, lays with the wife while she is terminally ill, bringing comfort to her in her last days, and helps the family as they grieve her death. The relationship between Enzo and his owner, Denny, is endearing, and we see Denny's trials and tribulations (loss of his wife, financial issues, and a custody battle) through Enzo's eyes. In the end, as hinted at from the first page of the book, Enzo passes away. While the scene is tear-inducing, it is more bittersweet than tragic. Enzo welcomes death as he believes that dogs are reincarnated as humans, and he cannot wait to be human. The book finishes happily with a Velveteen Rabbit-esque scene that makes you smile through your tears. Although the publisher recommends this book for 9-12 year olds, an older child may enjoy this book more--7th grade and up. If your child is a very sensitive animal lover, this book may not be a good fit.
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