1952: Ginger Pye (when dogs go missing)

VERDICT: Trash

Sally’s Rating: 2.5/5

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes is a cute book about Jerry Pye and his sister adopting a dog. While everything goes well at first, their dog is kidnapped, resulting in them having to enlist the town to help them find their lost puppy.

The characters were exciting to read about. They actually had personalities. The author had a good handle on what it is like to think as a child does. Both Jerry and Rachel’s narrations were refreshing to read in their simplicity and childlike curiosity. The children felt like they were real people, especially their ability to have a good time with limited resources. At one point, the kids dust the pews at a church and end up shoving 3-year-old Uncle Benny across the pew on a duster. The children’s actions felt true to life and made this book easier to relate to since I’m reading it as an adult.

While the characters are having fun, there is a somewhat sinister quality about this book. A stalker follows them for the early parts of the book, making the characters paranoid and worried for their safety. The author did a good job at building the tension until the inevitable event happens and Ginger is stolen.

As a mystery/suspense book, I felt this book missed the mark when the villain is revealed half way through the novel. I was really enjoying the book until the reveal; after that I lost interest because they spend the second half of the book searching for their lost dog.

Despite the fun characters, I hated the point of view shifts that happened in the middle of each chapter. It would switch between Jerry and his sister’s point of view without any warning; sometimes it even touched upon the cat’s point of view. The characters also go off on a tangent quite a bit throughout the book as flashbacks are constantly interrupting the action. Though most of their ramblings tend to be humorous, I felt the book could have been cut in half and been better for it.

Also of note in this novel were the illustrations. The pictures looked more like a child’s scribblings than real art. They honestly looked like something a random person would draw on a napkin at lunchtime.

The story ends predictably and happy endings are found all around. Ginger Pye is a decent read for children who love a quirky mystery book that features a cute dog. It also has a sequel Pinky Pye, but I’m in no rush to pick up the next adventure with the Pyes.

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