The award-winning author of A Dog Like Daisy returns with a moving middle grade novel from the point of view of Luna, a Labrador therapy dog who accompanies her group therapy kids when they set off on an adventure across Austin, Texas.
Luna has always wanted to be a therapy dog at Therapy Dogs Worldwide. Now she’s a whisker away from reaching her fifty-visit pin that will make it official. But when her “clients”—the children who visit her—are put into a therapy group, Luna’s routine is upended.
Like the moon, Luna shows different faces at different times. And her clients each have different needs—Beatrice is tangled in knots of anger, Caleb rushes like a waterfall, Amelia carries fear heavy like a shadow, and Hector is quiet as a rock. To comfort the kids, Luna can be what they need her to be, but can she be everything to them all at once?
When Hector doesn’t show up to a session one day, the kids set off on an unexpected quest to find him. Luna joins to keep them safe, and they must work together to almost learn the truth.
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"A therapy dog embarks on an adventure with three young clients to solve a mystery.
Silver Labrador Luna is close to receiving her 50-visit pin—a benchmark that will cement her status as an official therapy dog. But when her handler, Tessa, decides to form a new group to support children with emotional struggles, Luna’s progress might just be put on hold. Each child has their own reasons that bring them to counseling, issues that Luna describes with original, simile-heavy descriptions: Amelia, who deals with shadowy fear and anxiety; Beatrice, often angry like a tangled knot; Caleb, his personality like a rushing waterfall; and Hector, quiet and still like a river rock. When Hector doesn’t show up to a session, the remaining three decide to take it upon themselves to find him, escaping while Tessa is otherwise occupied. Luna accompanies the three children, ensuring their safety and stability as they try to track down their missing peer. Luna dazzles as the protagonist, supplying clever dog-related wordplay and adorable canine nuggets of wisdom throughout. The relationship between Luna and her young clients brims with delightful banter. Genuine sentiments about mental health, loyalty, and appreciating what makes us each different will leave readers with well-earned warmth. Tessa and Beatrice default to White; Caleb has a White mom and Black dad; and Amelia and Hector are Latinx.
Terribly sweet from start to finish. (author's note) (Fiction. 8-12)"
"...there are treats galore for readers of Luna Howls at the Moon, as well as gentle messages about survival, friendship, loyalty, and especially courage. It’s not easy for Luna to sort through all of the messy human emotions swirling around her and figure out what her kids need most, but her desire to give them all she has is inspiring to the reader and to the characters themselves, who depend on her throughout the story for love and support." See the full review here.