newbery honor author 

new york times bestseller

Gennifer Choldenko
Gennifer Choldenko
Junior Literary Gold Gold Standard

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by Kather­ine Apple­gate and Gen­nifer Chold­enko
illus­trat­ed by Wal­lace West
ages 8 and up
Fei­wel and Friends / Macmil­lan
ISBN 978–1‑2508–1160‑8


Dog­town is a shel­ter for stray dogs, mis­be­hav­ing dogs, and dis­card­ed robot dogs, whose own­ers have out­grown them.

Chance, a real dog, has been in Dog­town since his own­ers unwit­ting­ly left him with irre­spon­si­ble dog-sit­ters who skipped town.

Met­al Head is a robot dog who dreams of being back in a real home.

And Mouse is a mouse who has the run of Dog­town, pil­fer­ing kib­ble, and per­form­ing clever feats to pro­tect the dogs he loves.

When Chance and Met­al Head embark on an adven­ture to find their for­ev­er homes, there is dan­ger, cheese sand­wich­es, a charg­ing sta­tion, and some unex­pect­ed kind­ness­es along the way.

Awards and Recognition

  • Junior Library Guild Gold Stan­dard Selection
  • Very pop­u­lar One Book, One School selection
  • Ama­zon Best Chil­dren’s Book 2023
  • Ama­zon Editor’s pick
  • Ama­zon Best Book of the Month Sep­tem­ber 2023
  • New York Times Best­seller list 14 weeks
  • Indie Best­seller list 6 weeks
  • Large Print US
  • MacK­ids audio

International Editions

  • Ger­many
  • Greece
  • Hol­land
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Roma­nia
  • Turkey
  • Unit­ed Kingdom


“Super short chap­ters, per­haps sug­gest­ing a dog’s alleged lim­it­ed atten­tion span, keep the novel’s pace mov­ing briskly toward a cli­max sure to please ani­mal lovers despite a few sad moments along the way. … West’s grayscale art per­fect­ly cap­tures canine emo­tion and unbri­dled ener­gy. … When Apple­gate and Chold­enko col­lab­o­rate, read­ers win.” (School Library Jour­nal, starred review)

“New­bery Medal­ist Apple­gate and New­bery Hon­oree Chold­enko team up for this uplift­ing escape nov­el.” (Pub­lish­ers Weekly)

“Emi­nent­ly read­able and appeal­ing; will tug at dog-lov­ing read­ers’ heart­strings.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A sweet spot­light on shel­ter ani­mals that is as heart­warm­ing as it is enter­tain­ing.” (Book­list)

“An acces­si­ble, appeal­ing romp that pro­vides a dog’s‑eye view of the nature of hope, belong­ing, and found fam­i­ly.” (The Horn Book magazine)

“The plot unfolds gen­tly but direct­ly, mak­ing this an easy choice for a class­room or fam­i­ly read-aloud, though tellers and lis­ten­ers should have tis­sues on hand.” (Bul­letin of the Cen­ter for Chil­dren’s Books)