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Squirrel and her brother Bone begin their lives in a toolshed behind someone’s summer house. Their mother nurtures them and teaches them the many skills they will need to survive as stray dogs. But when their mother is taken from them suddenly and too soon, the puppies are forced to make their own way in the world, facing humans both gentle and brutal, busy highways, other animals, and the changing seasons. When Bone and Squirrel become separated, Squirrel must fend for herself, and in the process makes two friends who in very different ways define her fate.
The summer she turns 12, Hattie Owen is steeped in the routines of her small town life until the startling arrival of an uncle no one has ever spoken about. Now that Uncle Adam’s “school” - an institution for the mentally disabled - is closing, Hattie’s family must deal with a childlike young man whose existence they’ve denied for years. Hattie suddenly experiences a summer in which she learns living life fully means facing both the good times and the bad.
Annabelle Doll is eight years old—she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the same dollhouse, with the same doll people day after day, year after year…until the Funcrafts move in! Now Annabelle has a friend! Sure, she’s made entirely of plastic, and she’s living in the scariest room in the house, but she’s an adventurer, and after a hundred years of boredom, an adventure is just what Annabelle needs.
When a secret diary surfaces, these two unlikely friends venture into the exciting and dangerous world outside the dollhouse to unravel an age-old mystery.
This masterfully plotted adventure is illustrated throughout with remarkable black-and-white illustrations.