Shadow Mountain. Mar. 2021. 176p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781629729015.
Gr 3-7–Stella is a good dog, but she misses her old handler Connie and is having a hard time understanding where Connie went and why loud noises such as thunder and fireworks cause her to panic. Now, living with post-traumatic stress disorder, Stella sometimes does bad things that she can’t control, like escaping from crates and digging. Because of this, she’s convinced she’s a bad dog who cannot change. Before Stella made her way to live with Esperanza, an expert dog trainer, and her daughter Cloe, she used to be a bomb-sniffing dog at the airport. She blames herself for Connie’s death because Stella was distracted and missed the scent of an explosive device. Stella and Cloe are immediately drawn to each other, and through their relationship, Stella finds that she can still use her nose and be helpful. This tender novel from a dog’s perspective will help readers understand the importance of animals in their lives. This empathetic read is also full of important themes and lessons for young readers—bravery, how to overcome fears, and that mistakes don’t have to define us.
VERDICT A heartfelt dog story that readers young and old will enjoy.

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