As part of my personal young adult challenge I read The Good Dog by AVI. This was the first book I chose off the shelves and the first book I've finished as part of my challenge.
When the Wild Calls McKinley, a malamute, is a good dog -- he's reliable and trustworthy. Whether it's watching over the other dogs of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, or taking care of his human pup, Jack, McKinley never even thinks of letting anyone down -- until he meets Lupin. Lupin is a she-wolf and she's urging the dogs of Steamboat Springs to leave their domesticated lives and join her wild pack. And though she scares McKinley, he also finds himself drawn to her and the life of freedom that she offers.
For the first time, McKinley's loyalties are torn. Should he stay with his humans and continue to lead the dogs of Steamboat Springs? Or should he join the wolf and live freely, like his ancestors did? When the wild calls, what will McKinley's answer be?
I would hesitate to call this a book for young adults. This was more a book for children ages 7-11. That being said, it wasn't a bad book and I did enjoy reading a less well-known AVI book. This book is about a dog, McKinley who has to deal with the struggle of whether is more interested in being a "good dog" or honoring his wolf ancestors. Because the book was more appropriate for a younger audience, the writing was quite simplified and the characters weren't extremely developed. The author did try to put human terms/objects into terms a dog might understand- for example "cold box", "more car place", etc. The book has a heavy message of what it means to be a dog owner and emphasizes kind treatment to animals and viewing our pets as equals rather than possessions.
Overall, this was a simple cute read that I would feel great about giving to any young reader, mostly a young boy who is dog-obsessed or into wolves. I don't think this counts as a young adult book however.