The Dog who Belonged to No One

Amy Hestuses a parallel structure as she interweaves two stories into one.  The Dog Who Belonged to No One has two main characters:  a dog and Lia.  A small, stray dog lives his days exploring, looking for a friend.  Lia, a young, dreaming daughter,  also is alone.  Her parents are bakers, and she delivers their good all over town.  As she rides her bike, she made up stories to keep her company. 

To make herself feel less alone, she thought up stories as she pedaled.  The stories were like friends on her long ride to town.”

The Dog Who Belonged to No OneNotice Amy Bates sets the story during the early 1900’s:  the character dress and building structure.  The parallel scenes are often set side by side in a two-page layout.  As the reader, I found it interesting to be wondering and predicting about both characters – at the same time.  An excellent compare and contrast setting to use in discussion.

This book will grab the attention of both younger and older children in regards to the characters and turning point.  Amy Hest’s reference phrases from one part of the story into other scenes.  A very rich text!

Savorings for reading and in writing for A Dog Who Belonged to No One:

  • Character Lead – “Once there was a small dog with crooked ears.  He belonged to no one.”  “And once there was a wisp of a girl named Lia.”
  • parallel stories and structure – “He shook.  He shivered.  He dripped.  When the wind blew, his crooked ears blew.  She shook She shivered.  She dripped.  When the wind blew, her hair blew too.”
  • Inferencing
  • Ending – “and they belonged to each other…all through the changing season.”

Warsaw Community Public Library


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