I have enjoyed reading all of the books in verse that have come across my radar in recent memory. This is the most recent one, which features an Alaskan Malamute named Kody who is very special and has an exciting adventure. While there are not many words used in this novel, it means that each word is carefully chosen to effectively communicate the intended story. I’m highly impressed by people who are able to write in this way, and I think their work is an important contribution to fiction for all ages. Please see my full review of Kodiak and the Un-Hunted Place below!
Bravery can be found in creatures of all kinds, and sometimes courage appears in the most unlikely of places. Kodiak, or Kody for short, is an Alaskan Malamute who loves his backyard. Also known as the Un-Hunted Place, this special locale is home to chipmunks, squirrels, and bunnies, all of whom have healthy reservations about the large dog in their midst, though Kody is more interested in napping than eating any of his companions. But when Mr. Coyote threatens the sanctity of Kody’s home, Kody must stand his ground and protect the place and creatures he cherishes.
This story is especially well-suited to middle grade readers who have a deep affection for dogs. Written in free verse with occasional rhymes, the narrative is easily accessible to a wide range of readers. Using short phrases and ample white space, there is plenty of opportunity for less confident readers to rest their eyes while more adept readers will appreciate the many intricate layers found within this story. Simile and metaphor are used throughout the narrative, enhancing the plot with their careful delivery.
A selection of digitally-rendered, black and white illustrations appears within the text, offering visual support to the story itself. These select images highlight specific moments within the story and provide readers with another tool to increase their overall comprehension.
The thoughtful design of this book makes it equally enjoyable both for newer middle grade readers as well as confident adult readers. Tender and eloquent, readers will fall for the cross-eyed Malamute who stands up for the smaller creatures in his care despite not being able to see as well as his rival, Mr. Coyote, can. While the book itself reads quickly because of its overall length, it delivers a story that will resonate with readers long after it ends. This is a lovely addition to libraries for readers who love dogs and poetry no matter whether they are in middle grade or above.
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