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Guest post by Lynne Hewes. 

imgres-1Every June, when my granddaughter has a birthday, I try to find the “perfect” gift for her.  That perfect gift used to be a toy or a game; then it changed to something with “bling,” something girly.  Now that she’s a teenager, however, the perfect gift seems to be a gift card to her latest favorite clothing store.

No matter how those gifts change, however, one thing remains the same:  part of her gift box contains a book.

Years ago it was books about puppies, her favorite topic.  Then it was Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden.  When she was 12, it became The Hunger Games trilogy.  Then Divergent.  I read them all before I gifted them to her, and we always talked about characters, plot, what if? Those kinds of things.

This year she turns 17, so I thought she might be ready for something deeper, maybe a bit more adult.  So I’m giving her a book I bought several years ago, when it was an Oprah pick:  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

I had thought of her when I first read this book because it’s, in part, about dogs.  And even though my granddaughter is mature now, she still loves dogs.  In the book, Edgar raises dogs, and dogs play a huge part in the story, from the first chapter when a three-legged stray is used to test a quick-acting poison, all the way to the end, when Edgar’s beloved dog, Almondine….

Wait.  Spoiler alert.  I won’t tell the end, just in case you want to read the book yourself.

I worried a bit at first.  I seem to remember that there may be a sex scene in the story.  There’s certainly cunning, duplicity, even murder.  But I’m betting that there is enough suspense in the book (not to mention dogs) that she’ll race right along, barely pausing as she encounters references to human misbehavior.

Besides, I loved the story so much when I read it that much of it is still fresh in my own mind.  Just like we did with my other favorite books, Charlotte’s Web and The Secret Garden, I’m hoping that we’ll get to discuss this book, the writer’s craft, the parts of the story which most impressed us, and, of course, those dogs.

It’s awfully nice to have a granddaughter who loves to read, and I intend to do my part to make sure she keeps that attitude.