"At first, Newbery Medal winner Katherine Paterson (BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, JACOB HAVE I LOVED) seems to be telling the all too familiar tale of the new kid in town, the kid with no friends and a rotten new stepfather. But trust Paterson to solve the classic outsider problem in a whole new way. Josh, the main character, has a dog named Manch, who Josh begins to believe can talk. Whether this is a coping mechanism or a miracle is left up to the listener, but narrator Johnny Heller gives Josh a wistful, every-boy quality that puts the reader firmly in Josh's corner. Heller, probably the best narrator in the audio biz when it comes to young male protagonists, brings poignant life to this remarkable tale of fitting into the pack. M.C. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"