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Erik’s parents deploy to Iraq, leaving him to go live with his Oma and Big Darrell on the prairies of North Dakota. Angry, lonely and feeling unwanted, Erik rescues a dog, names him Quill and claims the dog as his own. When the dog’s owner turns up, Erik takes to the prairie, confident that he and Quill together can make a life for themselves on the prairie.

Middle grade readers, both boys and girls, will love this book. Erik’s independence, his love for Quill and his journey on the prairie will fuel the imaginations of young readers. What I liked about the book is that in the end, Erik discovers that there is more to the adults in his life than he first realized. His parents and grandparents aren’t just labelled as “the bad guys” and kept that way. Erik is allowed to get to know them and appreciate them for who they are. This is a similar, but easier to read, tale to My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, one of my personal classics.