He’s a rescue, a mutt. Maybe there’s a little golden retriever in him, although he’s not exactly pretty. He’s had a run-in with coyotes and he’s missing an eye. But Mike is eleven-year-old Cara Donovan’s dog, and they love each other absolutely. Usually her pet follows Cara everywhere, but on the day the family first smells smoke in the air, Mike becomes anxious. Pine Grove is in the path of a wildfire, and the family is ordered to evacuate. In the ensuing chaos, Mike runs off. And then the unthinkable happens; there is no time to search for Mike. They are forced to leave him behind.
Shocked and devastated, Cara watches helplessly as the family drives through a nightmare, with burning debris falling from the sky and wild animals fleeing for their lives. Once in the city far from the burn zone, the Donovans are housed with a volunteer host family. Jewel, the hosts’ daughter, is nice, but Cara can only think about what she may have lost. What will happen if nothing is left? But as she reflects on what “home” means to her, Cara knows only one thing. She is not going to lose Mike. She will do what it takes to find him, even if it means going back to Pine Grove on her own.
This was another pleasant surprise of a book so well written in verse style. I have read three novels this year in verse and loved them all, certainly a fan now!
Reading Missing Mike to my boys out loud was also a pleasure, and they enjoyed the verse form also. I’m so impressed to see such concise character and setting development expressed in so few words, and yet perfectly getting the ideas across to the reader.
The stress experienced by the main character, Cara, and her family is felt throughout the story as they wait for news about the condition of their home during a forest fire. Cara is additionally upset about her beloved dog Mike running away just as the family is fleeing their home. The reader is right along with them and is easily just as worried about Mike and the family home as the characters are.
We all loved this story and recommend this book.
This is an unsolicited review, I purchased this copy through McNally Robinson Booksellers.
- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Pajama Press; Reprint edition (Nov. 26 2019)
- ISBN-13: 978-1772780857