Reviews for Stella

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A traumatized working dog has one last chance after the death of her handler.Stella, a bomb-sniffing beagle, has been in three foster homes since the death of her handler, Connie, in an explosion. Now shes got PTSD, and she panics at loud noises, fire, or being left alone. Unable to do anything for her, the humans plan to euthanize Stella until she receives a last-minute reprieve. An old friend of Connies, a world-class dog trainer, decides to take on Stellas rehabilitation as a favor to her old friend. Through Stellas doggy point of view (usually, though not entirely, limited to what a dog could theoretically comprehend), readers are introduced to dog training with Esperanza and her 11-year-old daughter, Cloe. Esperanza and Cloe, who come from a Spanish-speaking family background, live in the country with other working dogs, a cat, and sheep. Perhaps in this rural environment Stella can finally recover. As her bond with Cloe grows, Stella learns more about what Cloes sometimes-strange smells mean when she first witnesses Cloe have an epileptic seizure. Stellas narration duly reports all the human conversations she doesnt understand; combined with Stellas somewhat anthropomorphized trauma recovery, Cloes hopes and fears come through clearly. Theres plenty of training process to please lovers of realistic dog books. Dog training, trauma recovery, and just enough urgency to keep it moving: a quiet pleasure. (discussion questions) (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 3–7—Stella is a good dog, but she misses her old handler Connie and is having a hard time understanding where Connie went and why loud noises such as thunder and fireworks cause her to panic. Now, living with post-traumatic stress disorder, Stella sometimes does bad things that she can't control, like escaping from crates and digging. Because of this, she's convinced she's a bad dog who cannot change. Before Stella made her way to live with Esperanza, an expert dog trainer, and her daughter Cloe, she used to be a bomb-sniffing dog at the airport. She blames herself for Connie's death because Stella was distracted and missed the scent of an explosive device. Stella and Cloe are immediately drawn to each other, and through their relationship, Stella finds that she can still use her nose and be helpful. This tender novel from a dog's perspective will help readers understand the importance of animals in their lives. This empathetic read is also full of important themes and lessons for young readers—bravery, how to overcome fears, and that mistakes don't have to define us. VERDICT A heartfelt dog story that readers young and old will enjoy.—Alicia Kalan, The Northwest Sch., Seattle


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A traumatized working dog has one last chance after the death of her handler. Stella, a bomb-sniffing beagle, has been in three foster homes since the death of her handler, Connie, in an explosion. Now she’s got PTSD, and she panics at loud noises, fire, or being left alone. Unable to do anything for her, the humans plan to euthanize Stella until she receives a last-minute reprieve. An old friend of Connie’s, a world-class dog trainer, decides to take on Stella’s rehabilitation as a favor to her old friend. Through Stella’s doggy point of view (usually, though not entirely, limited to what a dog could theoretically comprehend), readers are introduced to dog training with Esperanza and her 11-year-old daughter, Cloe. Esperanza and Cloe, who come from a Spanish-speaking family background, live in the country with other working dogs, a cat, and sheep. Perhaps in this rural environment Stella can finally recover. As her bond with Cloe grows, Stella learns more about what Cloe’s sometimes-strange smells mean when she first witnesses Cloe have an epileptic seizure. Stella’s narration duly reports all the human conversations she doesn’t understand; combined with Stella’s somewhat anthropomorphized trauma recovery, Cloe’s hopes and fears come through clearly. There’s plenty of training process to please lovers of realistic dog books. Dog training, trauma recovery, and just enough urgency to keep it moving: a quiet pleasure. (discussion questions) (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Back