Title: The Meanest Hound Around
Author & Illustrator: John Steven Gurney
"Grade 2-4 A story to melt the heart of the most reluctant reader, this tale features Freddie, an appealing canine narrator who tells of being loved by his boy, but abandoned by his boy's father. Wet, miserable, cold, and frightened, he comes upon a junkyard run by two bullies, one human and one canine. He befriends Spike, forced to be a watchdog there, helps him escape, and the two begin a series of encounters with hostile geese and ferocious coyotes before finding a happy home. The plot unfolds at a steady pace, and the ample dialogue lends immediacy to the story. Black-and-white illustrations, one or two per chapter, capture some of the canines' terrifying adventures and the tale's joyful resolution. For early readers who like animal stories, this one is a good choice."