Dozer's Run: A True Story of a Dog and His Race

with Rosana Panza. illus. by David Opie. 32p. notes. photos. Sleeping Bear. Jul. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781585368969.
K-Gr 3—The annual Maryland Half Marathon is a fund-raiser for the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. Thousands have participated over the years to raise over $1.5 million dollars, but the single biggest booster ran the race only once: Dozer the Goldendoodle has generated more than $25,000 since his "accidental" run back in 2011. Author Levy and Panza, Dozer's owner, recount the Sunday morning in May when Dozer inadvertently and unbeknownst to his family joined the race as it passed by his house. Told in third person and laced with italicized "Dog Think," the story follows Dozer and the runners as they make their way toward the finish line. The simple narrative concludes when the Panzas are visited by race organizers a few days later to award Dozer an honorary medal. Some fictionalizing occurs, with Dozer described as feeling lonely and sad after no one rewards him after the race. The detailed author's note, which fills out this inspirational tale, explains that no one knows what happened to Dozer immediately after the marathon. The note also includes a video link of Dozer crossing the finishing line that readers won't want to miss. The traditional illustrations, done in pencil and digitally painted, capture the initial exuberance of the dog and runners, as well as the strain and doubt of the final miles of the race. Readers will surely be motivated by this book to "take steps, big and small, to help others."—Lynn Van Auken, Oak Bluffs School, Oak Bluffs, MA
[=with]When hundreds of runners pass his home, Dozer, a goldendoodle, decides to find out what they're all chasing. On and on he runs until at last he, like the other half-marathon runners, reaches the finish line. The entertaining but somewhat long story, told from Dozer's point of view, is accompanied by static, muted illustrations. An author's note about the real Dozer is included.

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