#1012 – The Dog, Ray by Linda Coggin

thedogray The Dog, Ray
Written by Linda Coggin
Candlewick Press  11/08/2016
204 pages   Ages 9—14

“When my death came it was swift.
Swift as a running horse. It wasted no time.

“Daisy, age twelve, has died her swift death in a car accident. She finds herself in the afterworld, which resembles nothing miore than a Job Center. Her soul id being returned to earth, but not as a human being—she’s returning as a dog. A dog who is determined to get back to her parents and her home.” [INSIDE JACKET]

Daisy and her father are in a car crash and Daisy “swiftly” dies. She now finds herself in a Job Center awaiting a soul re-assignment. With no “qualified jobs” (human bodies waiting for a soul), Daisy has mere seconds to take the right door to join a new litter of pups. In her confusion and rush, Daisy takes the left door, which leaves her memories intact when she opens her eyes twelve days later as puppy Misty. Her “distinguishing feature” remains and with luck, Daisy’s parents will recognize her as their former daughter.

Daisy/Misty narrates the story from her canine existence. She longs to find her parents and become her father’s guide dog. Daisy/Misty’s moment of escape leads her to meet Pip, a 14-year-old homeless boy in search of his father. Pip renames the dog Ray and the two become inseparable as they search for their families. Readers are privy to Daisy/Ray’s speech, though story characters hear only barking. On her side, Daisy/Ray understands humans and their nuances. This one-sided understanding keeps Daisy’s story to the front even when Pip’s begins to dominate. As Daisy/Ray’s devotion to Pip increases, her former memories begin to fade and canine instincts take over. Protecting Pip becomes Ray’s priority.

Coggin’s writing style takes readers on an emotional, yet often hilarious, journey of discovery. Pip’s realistically portrayed homeless life parallels Ray’s stray dog life, both of whom must steer clear of authorities looking to place them into foster care or a dog pound respectively. Along their journey, Pip and Ray meet several interesting characters and situations.

Coggin leaves no string detached as she deftly ties each character and situation to the story as a whole. Her writing will move readers and leave them wanting more. Teachers and librarians will love Pip’s penchant for libraries, where he feels most at home and welcome.

The Dog, Ray will move readers through an emotional rollercoaster as Pip and Daisy/Ray’s futures become clear.

THE DOG, RAY. Text copyright © 2016 by Linda Coggin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher,  Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

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Add The Dog, Ray Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Reprinted with permission from THE DOG, RAY © 2016 by Linda Coggin, Candlewick Press.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

The Dog, Ray
Written by Linda Coggin
Candlewick Press 11/08/2016


4 thoughts on “#1012 – The Dog, Ray by Linda Coggin

  1. Wow this looks like an incredible story, what a character this dog is! We are reading Cole’s Perfect Puppy by Frances Crossno and it’s amazing how dogs can draw us in! Animals are just that way. Crossno’s book is a tale of friendship and it’s beautiful as well, francescrossno.com has all her info.


    • The Dog, Ray is incredible and Ray does draw you in, just like a real animal. Thanks for commenting, I hope you return. Oh—

      Me thinks you are looking for a review. If she is interested, have Ms. Crossno check out the review request tab.


  2. I have to say, the summary went in a wildly different direction that what I initially expected from the cover! But what an interesting plot. The part about Daisy’s memories eventually beginning to fade really intrigued me.


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