3 out of 4 stars
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Ava: A Story of Friendship by Marianne Shrader is a children’s chapter book about a pit bull named Ava. Ava is adopted from a shelter by a loving family. When her family goes on vacation, Ava goes to stay with the kids’ grandmother and great-grandmother who aren’t so sure about dogs, especially pit bulls. Will the three learn to get along or will it be one long week until the family returns?
By far, the best thing about this book was the way the author managed to get inside Ava’s head. From her inability to understand why people are afraid of her to the fun she has tearing up tissues at grandma’s house, Ava’s personality and tone are expressed wonderfully through the writing. This helped me relate to Ava, which I think is especially important because many characters in the book struggle to connect with Ava due to her scary appearance.
I also really enjoyed the pictures in this book. The illustrations seem to be photographs that were converted to look like line drawings. They really helped me understand Ava’s looks and imagine her surroundings as the story progressed.
Unfortunately, I have a couple of complaints about this book as well. First, I don’t believe the book was professionally edited due to the number of errors I found. However, none of the errors were big enough to disrupt the flow of my reading. I also felt let down by the ending of the book. Without giving too much away, I’ll simply say that I think the book would be better if it ended before the final chapter.
Overall, I would rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Although I enjoyed the book a lot, I couldn’t give it the full four stars due to the issues with editing and the end of the book. I would recommend this story to parents of kids ages six to nine, depending on their reading level. If your kid is feeling nervous or fearful around dogs, this could be a great book for them.
AVA: A Story of Friendship
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