Book: Dusty

Author and Illustrator: Nola Langner

Publisher: Putnam Pub. Group, 1976

ISBN-13: 978-0698306349

ISBN-10: 0698306341

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 7-10

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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Langner, Nola.  Dusty (published in 1976 by Coward McCann and Geoghegan Inc.; republished in 1981 by Xerox Education Publications, a trademark of Xerox Corporation, Middletown, CT).  On Monday night, the wind is blowing, and Dusty, a hungry, black cat, comes to the door.  The small girl feeds her milk and tuna fish on the porch, and the cat leaves.   On Tuesday night when it is raining, Dusty comes into the house, eats milk and cold spaghetti, and then leaves.  On Wednesday, Dusty comes in, eats, and lets the girl pet her before leaving.  Dusty continues to come and go at intervals through the following Sunday.

After a thorough inspection lasting several more days, the large black cat stays with the girl all through the summer.  But when fall comes and the leaves on the oak tree turn brown, Dusty goes away on a hot September night.  Does she come back this time?  What happens to her?  And will the girl ever see her again?  Any child who has taken in a stray pet, as my family often did when I was growing up out in the country, will be touched by this story.  There are many good dog tales for children, but it is nice to read one about a cat.  Dusty would not only make a great read aloud but also be an excellent short book for beginning readers.

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