The Way of Dog
Zana Fraillon
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
ISBN: 9780702265563
Awards Year: 2023
Category: Book of the Year: Younger Readers


Be strong. Be fierce. Life is more than a concrete floor.

Scruffity is born into the harsh, grey world of a puppy farm. Taken from his mamma and locked in a concrete cage, what he yearns for most is Family. To belong is The Way of Dog. But no one wants him.

Just as his chances of adoption grow dangerously thin, Scruffity is set free by a boy as unwanted and lonely as he is.

Outside, Scruffity learns all about The Way of Dog – it is to run, to dig, to howl and, biggest of all, to love. But when tragedy strikes, Scruffity is suddenly all alone.

How does a dog find his way home when he never had one to begin with?


The CBCA judges say...

A remarkable verse novel narrated from the perspective of a puppy farm dog, which describes the world in a way that cleverly bridges the gap between human reader and animal protagonist. The free verse, which changes in font, and the creative layout of the text are skilfully crafted to emphasise Scruffity’s voice and emotions. The subtle, greyscale illustrations sit seamlessly within the text to show pivotal points in Scruffity’s life. They echo, extend and amplify the text enabling the reader to explore life’s harsh realities, such as abuse, loneliness, tragedy, disability, and loss. This is an outstanding book that is jaw-dropping, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, making it a challenging read, well-suited to readers aged 10 and older.




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