When Mr. Dog Bites

320p. Bloomsbury. Jun. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781619633469; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9781619633476.
Gr 10 Up—Dylan Mint suffers from Tourette's syndrome. He also just found out he has only eight months to live. He decides the only thing to do is come up with a list of "Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It." The list includes having sex for the first time, finding a new best friend for his best friend Amir, and convincing the army to allow his dad to come home from the war. It's obvious to readers from early on that Dylan is not actually going to die—this belief stems from a misunderstanding at the doctor's office. It is also clear his dad is not actually in the army or at war. This first person account is insightful, engaging, and immerses teens into the world of Tourette's. British and Scottish slang, coupled with Dylan's scattered thought processes, can make it difficult to understand at times. Though the excessive swearing may be off-putting to some readers, the language is authentic, given the protagonist's disorder. This is an uninhibited and compelling look inside the mind of a teen living with Tourette's. The ending, neatly tied up in a bow, seems far-fetched, but readers will root for Dylan nonetheless and would not want to see it end any other way. If they can get past the challenging language, they will be rewarded with a relatable character who has many of the same problems they do.—Tammy Turner, Centennial High School, Frisco, TX
Dylan Mint has Tourette's syndrome, and things go from bad to worse when he becomes convinced he's going to die. He winnows his bucket list down to three things: get laid, find a new friend for best friend Amir, and bring Dad back from the war. Plot is minimal (and slow), but the narrative voice is engaging and the issues raised are important.

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