At first Ben feels unwanted at his Aunty Ida and Uncle Joe's place and so does their long-haired German Shepherd dog called Layla. It doesn't take long for them to form a trusting and loving friendship. Layla becomes more confident as she rediscovers old skills and Ben finds friends in unlikely places. They're going to need it when Ben's brother Sam starts to hang out with unsavoury characters and requires rescuing.
Susan Brocker starts and ends the story with the dog's perspective and in between writes a heartwarming tale about bravery and friendship between a boy and his dog. Boys and girls of 10-14 years old will find it difficult to put this book down.
Susan Brocker has written over 50 books for teenagers for the American market and two for the New Zealand market (her first being Restless Spirit). Suan lives on a farm in Tauranga with her foster children, husband and animals (not surprisingly mostly horses and dogs). The book was inspired by a dog she once had, who passed away several years ago.
Saving Sam by Susan Brocker published by Harper Collins ISBN # 978 1 86950 743 5 $18.99
Reviewed by Maria Gill