In which dogs do not die (or do they?) and I want to write to Julia Roberts
Let’s start off with something light.
“No More Dead Dogs” is about two kids, Wallace Wallace (yes, that is his real name) and Rachel Turner, who go to the same high school. Wallace is a bad football player who is hailed as a celebrity for a fluke goal last season. Rachel is an aspiring actress in the school’s drama club. She writes to Julia Roberts instead of keeping a diary. Yeah. Don’t laugh. You all know you wanted to. When Wallace tells their English, Mr. Fogelman, that the teach’s beloved book Old Shepis trash, Fogelman sentences the boy to detention until he writes a proper report, or in reality, recognizes the complete brilliance of Old Shep. Even if the dog dies at the end for no good reason. Unfortunately for both Rachel and Wallace, this detention must be spent by sitting in on the drama club’s rehearsals. The play this year? You guessed it. A theatre version of Old Shep himself. When Wallace takes an interest in the play, making suggestion that are widely regarded as improvements, Rachel believes her acting career is getting taken over by the football jock, who doesn’t really care about the play anyways. And when the play starts getting sabotaged, she’s certain she knows the culprit.
I’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but here’s some thoughts on the plot.
I love the characters. Everyone in this school is their own personality, with their own thoughts. The way they interact with each other and miscommunicate is a riot, and I found myself laughing out loud with each page. Wallace Wallace with his inability to lie, his ex-best friend Cavanaugh’s bad name calling, and Trudi Davis’s hopeless infatuations; everyone has their own quirks.
This book was a great reminder about rumour spreading, and its effects. Sometimes it’s harmless, sometimes it can really hurt people.
The concept of a high school rising up against the traditional dog books like Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Sounder, where the dog always dies, was endearing, believable, and hilariously funny. This book was in keeping with Korman’s other books I have read and enjoyed like his Macdonald Hall series. Confession: I like this author best when he’s working in a high school.
And come on, really? Who DOESN’T want to write Julia Roberts about our high school problems? I know I do!