Buddy Unchained: Book Review

Buddy is an unhappy dog. Rescued and taken to a shelter he wonders about what else life has in store for him.

Title: Buddy Unchained
Author: Daisy Bix
Illustrator: Joe Hyatt
ISBN: 9780940719019          Language: English

Classification: Fiction with realistic story
Themes: animal welfare, feelings

What's it about?
This story is about a labrador-type dog that has been treated poorly. His life takes a turn for the better when he is rescued by a local organisation and learns to trust, love and be part of a family.

The simplicity of the text. This book features simple sentences and keeps them to a minimum to tell the story. The text is well supported by the illustrations and are not too scary for younger children.

Animal neglect can be a confronting topic for some children and you will need to be prepared for the emotions some children will feel when they see Buddy at the beginning of the story

My Thoughts
This is a powerful story to include as part of an animal welfare unit which I feel is timely given I do not remember a time before now when I hear so much on the news about both animal abuse and neglect. While books on topics such as these may given some people a sense of uneasiness, I feel they are long overdue needed. Many children own or around pets - particularily cats and dogs where I live, therefor it is so important that children know what is and isn't okay.

This story tells Buddy's life very sensitively that you can use it with younger children without giving them nightmares. I like how the journey of Buddy shows how each new turn led to another making this book also a good choice if you want students to focus on story-mapping or timeline creation.

Edit May 2018: I have recently reviewed the book Teddy the Shelter Dog. If you are looking for a companion book to this one or more about animals finding Forever Homes please click and read the review.

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