This is a middle-grade quick read about a girl named Storee who dreams of being an author. The names are allegorical: the protagonist Storee Wryter, her cat Critique, and even her new dog Addie (who has been “added” to the family). Storee keeps writing ideas in a file in her room and is always thinking about what to write for her next big story. At the beginning of the book, her friend Kyria comes over and asks Storee to adopt a dog.
The book stresses responsibility and service in adopting and training a dog, and part of the discussion Storee has with her parents is whether they can train Storee to become a therapy or service dog. Without going over-the-top with details, the book models ways of properly training a dog as well as traits a dog must possess to be certified as a therapy dog. In the end, Storee’s parents agree to the dog, and story works hard (even Critique helps her out) to train Addie to the point where she can visit a class of struggling readers eager to read to the dog as part of a program.
While reading, I did wish the book was longer. The writing is great, and there were some opportunities for expanding some of the scenes, or perhaps showing us some of what Storee was writing, or showing us more of Storee’s challenges in training her dog.
I enjoyed the positive message of the book, encouraging young writers to keep up with their ideas. The book even ends with prompts and space to write down ideas. It’s clear the author cares about helping young writers. The book also teaches the proper training techniques for dogs and teaches students just how much responsibility is involved in responsibly training one. My own corgis could learn a lot from Addie, as they sometimes tag-team against me to subvert my training efforts!
All in all, it’s a great read for young readers, writers, and animal lovers looking to make something of themselves in the world.