Just Gus

by McCall Hoyle (Author)

Just Gus
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

Return to the world of devoted working dogs and the humans they love in a new book from the best-selling author of Stella. Gus is a livestock guardian dog with one job--protecting his farm from coyotes and foxes. He likes keeping the sheep, the chickens, and his humans safe, and he's very good at it.

One day, Diego and his dad come to visit the farm, and Gus immediately connects to the small boy. They both like to sit still and enjoy the quiet, and Gus can tell that Diego likes being around a gentle giant of a dog, that it helps relieve the boy's constant worry.

When Gus detects the scent of a bear in the woods, he rushes to protect his flock, injuring his leg in a fight with the dangerous beast. Wounded, Gus needs to rest and heal away from his sheep, so he doesn't risk reinjuring his leg. Diego suggests Gus come home with them to the North Carolina coast.

Suddenly, Gus is thrust into a new world of saltwater and sand and neighbors who don't appreciate the presence of a large guard dog, like the neighbor who reminds Gus of his first owner--the junkyard man with the heavy boots.

Gus realizes Diego might need a friend as much as his sheep need a protector, but if he can't learn to control his instincts, like barking and patrolling the neighborhood, Gus might lose his chance to stay in his new home. If he can't protect the farm or his boy, Gus worries he might never find his place in the world.

Just Gus is a tender story of belonging and of two friends who learn they are better together than they were alone.

Select format:
Hardcover
$18.99

Review quotes

"Through Gus' lightly anthropomorphized thoughts (he carefully reports all human conversations he hears despite not necessarily understanding everything), Diego's overwhelming anxiety is apparent but is eased through his bond with Gus, and soon the dog realizes he has a new purpose as an emotional support animal for Diego. This is a comforting, quiet tale of a working dog slowly transitioning into a new life. Featuring a lovable animal protagonist, a relatable and persistent child trainer, and dog-training information, it's a compelling read. A gentle portrayal of a canine protagonist adjusting to a new role."— Kirkus
McCall Hoyle
McCall Hoyle is an award-winning author and teacher librarian. She writes heartfelt books for kids of all ages and believes one of the best ways to spread hope is by writing about the special bond between dogs and their humans. When McCall isn't writing or teaching, you can find her training one of her four-legged friends for agility, obedience, or dock diving in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains she calls home.

You can learn more about her at mccallhoyle.com or visit her on Twitter @McCallHoyle or on Facebook or Instagram @McCallHoyleBooks.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781639930937
Lexile Measure
-
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Shadow Mountain
Publication date
April 04, 2023
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
Library of Congress categories
-

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