Wednesday, June 30, 2010


by Diana Wynne Jones
New York: Greenwillow Boooks, 1977 (1975).

The luminary Sirius has been accused of using a Zoi to kill another star. He knows he didn't do it, but he'd flown into a rage and couldn't really remember the details. He is convicted and given the sentence of being sent to find the Zoi. But he is sent as a dog, and he only has that dog's lifetime in which to find the Zoi and clear his name.

I love Diana Wynne Jones's stories because they always promise something fresh in the midst of a genre (and I read a lot of fantasy) that can be very cliche. Dogsbody is one of her older books, but it is no exception to this. The story is seen through Sirius's point of view as he navigates earth as a dog, which sometimes makes for moments of humor in the midst of serious situations. He definitely has a dog's nature, and has to work to find the memories of who he is and what he needs to do. The people he meets, helpful and otherwise, are well fleshed out. The story is one that I could see children growing up getting even more understanding and appreciation for the details as they grow older, so I could see this being a good family read-aloud for a wide age range.

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