"My body hits the wall like a feed sack. My head smacks the stone and I hear ringing in my ears. Then one of the ugliest faces I've ever seen appears in front of me."
It's Guy Martinez's first day at B.S. Middle School and he is being bullied by Brad Mullen.
Guy has just moved from California to Montana because his dad has left him and his mom. They have no money, so they go to live with Guy's grandpa. Lucklily, another student at the school, Luke Allen, saves him from Brad by talking him out of bullying Guy.
Sneed B. Collard III's Dog Sense is about how hard it is for kids to adjust to new places, but if you have someone with you while you are trying to adjust, it's not that hard, especially if a dog is involved.
Guy and his dog, Streak, compete with Brad and his dog in a frisbee throwing contest. Brad and his dog Shep win at the school fair but Guy and Streak win a name for themselves. Brad and Guy both qualify for state and Guy's hate for Brad elevates so much that he makes a bet that if he loses, he'll give Streak to Brad. Luke thinks it's a really bad idea to bet Streak.
Meanwhile, Guy's grades in reading are terrible but Luke's grades are awesome, and in math the reverse is true. So they decide to do their homework together. Guy has trouble convincing Luke that x and y are not supernatural forces. Luke helps Guy understand what he has read. After a while things fall into place and their grades improve, and it strengthens their friendship because they help each other.
Dog Sense is great because it conveys the point of view of a teenager and it makes the book feel real. The book has a bit of humor along with seriousness. For example, Luke's father falls sick because of a mining incident, Guy's father leaves him; Guy has trouble at school, but Streak's playfulness adds a lot of laughs to the book.
The part about the frisbee contest keeps you at the edge of your seat. You never know if a dog is going to make the catch or not. One drop could cost the team the game. Luke and Guy's friendship is heartwarming. They stick together no matter what happens.
Dog Sense is definitely a good read, great for a rainy Saturday afternoon.