Riley Case, aka Doggirl, has always been better at communicating with dogs than people, and she sees no reason to change that. All she wants to do is get through high school and go to college so she can become a professional animal trainer.
So when the notice shows up about the school’s theater department needing a dog trainer with a trained dog, Riley thinks it’s the perfect way to get some experience under her belt without risking too much of herself. Before long she feels like one of the theater pack, but she’s unsure how to tell if everyone really likes her, or if they’re just being nice until the show’s over. If only people were more like dogs, she’d know what to do.
Doggirl by Robin Brande addresses an issue many teens may feel: struggling to be accepted for who you are. Riley is unsure of herself, in part, because kids she thought were her friends in middle school ended up being mean to her. She doesn’t want to get burned again, but she really does want the companionship of people as well as dogs. And learning how to communicate with them will obviously be something she needs to do her whole life; she can’t always expect her parents to be the only ones in her social circle.
I learned a lot about dog behavior, and I also found it fun to follow the progress of the action of the play within the story. Robin Brande carries the connection between dog behavior and human behavior well throughout, and at times I found Doggirl to be laugh-out-loud funny. And it’s not just for dog people. I’m more of a cat person myself, and reading Doggirl converted me just a bit. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 12 and up.
The author provided me with a copy of this book to review.