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Rules of the Ruff
Cover of Rules of the Ruff
Rules of the Ruff
Twelve-year-old Jessie is in for a long summer at her aunt and uncle's house. Her cousin Ann has a snotty new best friend, which leaves Jessie all alone. But Jessie is industrious, and—not...
Twelve-year-old Jessie is in for a long summer at her aunt and uncle's house. Her cousin Ann has a snotty new best friend, which leaves Jessie all alone. But Jessie is industrious, and—not...
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  • Twelve-year-old Jessie is in for a long summer at her aunt and uncle's house. Her cousin Ann has a snotty new best friend, which leaves Jessie all alone. But Jessie is industrious, and—not content with being ignored all summer—she convinces Wes, a grouchy neighborhood dog walker, to take her on as his apprentice.

    Sure, dog walking turns out to be harder than she expected, but she has Wes's dog-walking code, the Rules of the Ruff, to guide her, and soon she's wrangling her very own pack. But when a charismatic rival dog walker moves to town, she quickly snatches up most of Wes's business—and Jessie decides she isn't going to take this defeat with her tail between her legs.

About the Author-

  • Heidi Lang is the coauthor of A Dash of Dragon and A Hint of Hydra as well as a former professional dog walker. She lives in Richland, Washington.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2018

    Gr 4-6-Twelve-year-old Jessie pesters her way into an apprenticeship with a curmudgeonly dog walker during a summer with her suburban Ohioan family. Her cousin's mean-girl friend and an intriguing boy and his mom (who tries to co-opt clients for her own dog walking service) create additional challenges to merely mastering dog-walking skills. Written in scene-based chapters of uniform lengths and featuring a small cast with distinctive personalities and voices, Jessie's story is a light, predictable read. Jessie loves soccer and Die Hard movies and eschews dresses and romantic comedies. Dogs abound within these pages, but mostly as objects that further the plot as opposed to animals with whom the protagonist develops close relationships. VERDICT Give this to dog lovers or readers seeking a light and breezy summer read.-Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2018
    Spending the summer with her bad-tempered aunt and her family is proving to be a trial for 12-year-old Jessie now that her slightly older cousin, Ann, has an unpleasantly self-centered new friend, Loralee.Lonely Jessie decides to become the assistant of a misanthropic dog walker, Wes. Wes doesn't care much for people, but he's gifted with dogs. His relationship with Jessie is cranky at best, but the dog walking becomes the highlight of her summer. Ann ignores her, and to make matters worse, a talented (and cute) soccer player, Max, whom she befriends, falls for manipulative Loralee--who savors mocking Jessie. When Max's mother, a novice dog walker, takes most of Wes' business away, he and Jessie begin playing dirty tricks in order to undermine her success. Jessie takes on the burden of guilt--and then all of the blame--for these malicious acts, failing to see (with, remarkably, no other grown-up guidance) that Wes is hardly acting like an adult. Jessie's caught between her concern for lonely Wes and an overarching desire to do what's best for the animals. All the while, she seems to work hard to avoid the maturity that ultimately overtakes her in a feel-good ending that pushes credibility. Other than Jessie, most characters are only superficially developed. Max is described as having brown skin, but the book otherwise subscribes to the white default.A thoughtful and fast-paced story that should appeal to dog lovers. (Fiction. 10-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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