It is a kids book, suitable for kids in year five and six up.
The author also wrote the hilarious "Don't Call Me Ishmael", a very very funny book for teenagers about a boy who just doesn't fit in.
This one is not so funny. The dog in the story, Mr Mosely, is not just a dog.
The story is told by a boy named Corey. Each chapter tells a different story from the life of the family dog. Corey went with his mum and dad to Uncle Gavin's house to choose a puppy from the litter born to Madonna, a pure bred dalmatian whose progeny is not so pure.
Corey was only little at the time, and he chose a shy, withdrawn and quiet little puppy who was mostly white, hence the name Mr Mosely (Corey couldn't say mostly). Even though the pup is little, he has enormous feet and it doesn't take him long to grow into them.
For a while the family is happy. But then after two sisters are born, the dad loses his job and begins to suspect the mum of being unfaithful.
Things are very tense, and Corey is very aware of the discord in the relationships around him. But Mr Mosely is a faithful dog. He listens to Dad's private troubles, is always waiting ready to play with Corey after school, valiantly defends Amelia from what he perceives to be a viscous attack by the Pink Panther and diffuses many troubling situations just by being his comic self.
The way the story is narrated you can tell something bad is going to happen to Mr Mosely. In fact, right from the start we are pretty sure that something bad already has and that the narrator is looking back to happier times as a way to get over his grief.
I shed a tear reading this book, which was embarrassing as I was reading it during a staff meeting, but I am glad to say it has a positive ending, with the family striving to stay together.
I highly recommend this book for any lovers of dogs.
Just found a video about it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ij-WXel5k8