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This one is easy. Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer. GOD. This book is boring AND a bummer. You get that girl Deb, who never comes up again, I don’t think, and she is just so angry about getting glaucoma. And I bet everyone who has ever read this book periodically freaks out about getting glaucoma now (OH MY GOD AM I SEEING HALOS AROUND LIGHTS?), the way we all also think that we are developing Diabetes I if we are excessively thirsty.
Then the primary plot is also kind of a bummer, because we know that they will eventually have to give Scout UP and the kids will be sad about it. And isn’t it this book where Andrew Brewer is kind of just really pathetic and sad and you feel bad for this kid because he has had so much upheaval in his short life, and now his family is all, “Oh look, a puppy, BUT YOU CAN’T KEEP IT, HA HA.”
The Brewers, to poor little Andrew
There is something that is just so heartbreaking that whole thing about Andrew thinking that maybe, just maybe, if he proves that he is a good dog owner, they’ll let him keep Scout for his very own pet. That may be in Mary Anne in the Middle, not this one, though. (That book is another clunker. Jessi is TERRIBLE in that book, and I generally like Jessi.) The whole Scout storyline is just a bummer. Basically, I firmly believe that there should be some kind of blog that tells you whether or not a dog dies at the end of a book or movie, so I know not to read or watch it. No, I have never seen Old Yeller, AND I NEVER PLAN TO. I know that Scout doesn’t die, and she goes on to really help a blind person lead a better life, but still. They have to say good-bye to the dog! Sad! Someone Andrew or Emily Michelle’s age isn’t really going to understand what’s going on. Another example of great parenting by the Thomas-Brewers, like surprising your kids with a new sibling without dealing with how it’s going to affect the family dynamic.
Anyway, my general opinion on Kristy books is that they are most interesting when Kristy is attempting to deal with a world she is not quite ready for. (Kristy + Bart = ?, Mind Your Own Business, Kristy!.) They are most boring when they deal with things Kristy IS ready for, like Doing Good and Baseball (Kristy at Bat is nice for the Watson-and-Kristy relationship stuff, but still, BASEBALL, and Kristy and the Walking Disaster, blecch except for the Bart storyline). Dog Trainer does not deal with things that interest me, mainly fashion and boys.
Honorable mention for suckage, however, goes to Kristy For President because OH GOD, JAMIE NEWTON AND THE BIKE SUBPLOT. Is there a more BORING subplot in the entire series? No. No, there is not. But props to the writer, for making us really feel the TORTURE that Jamie puts the sitters through. Reading the damn subplot is torture. So meta.