Our April reads celebrates the love we have for our pets and all other animals. When you find a book you would like to explore, click on the title and be taken directly to our catalog. Happy reading!

Children

Can I Be Your Dog? & I Found a Kitty! By Troy Cummings
Can I Be Your Dog and its sequel I Found a Kitty are endearing picture books about finding an adorable pet a loving home. The stories are told in letters written by the pets and their responses from the prospective homes. Each page is filled with charming illustrations and the ending of each will warm your heart!

Picture Book by Dog by Michael Relth
This picture book is written as a memoir by a dog with a storied past of being unloved in a shelter, and how his life changed when he found his forever home. The warm, bright illustrations of and by Dog) highlight the joy he has found in being loved and cared for.

Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky
When Jessica Kensky was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, she knew her life would be changed forever, but her service dog Rescue was there to show off his training and help her realize different abilities.

The Vanderbeekers (series) by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers is a 4 part (so far!) heartwarming middle grade series about a family of 7 and lots of fur children whose well-intentioned ambitions get them into some trouble, but they make it through with hard work, compassion, and the support of one another. Each book is enhanced by the charming pets and their illustrations (by the author!), but the third installment, The Vanderbeekers To the Rescue, plays the heartstrings of all animal lovers as the Vanderbeeker children attempt to save their mother’s baking business AND find homes for a half a dozen animals that keep mysteriously showing up at their doorstep.

My Furry Foster Family by Debbi Michiko Florence
This great early chapter series by local author Debbi Michiko Florence follows Kaita Takano and her family as they foster a menagerie of animals and find them excellent forever homes. Learning the new animals is always a fun journey that makes saying goodbye bittersweet.

Katie the Catsitter by Colleen A.F. Venable
Katie’s friends are going to summer camp and inspired by serious FOMO, she attempts to save money to join them. After a few hilarious misadventures, she is given the opportunity to be a catsitter for a slightly mysterious person whose 217 cats turn out to be mysterious in their own way! This graphic novel is super fun, unique, and best of all- the start of a series!

Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd
Allergic is a bright and heartfelt graphic novel perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller. Its protagonist Maggie is desperate for a puppy- until her first attempt at meeting the perfect fluffy friend leaves her in hives! Loosely based on her own experience, Megan writes and illustrates finding one’s own way in spite of sizable hurdles!

No, Fuzzball! by Isabella Kung 
This adorable, but mischievous kitty hears “NO, FUZZBALL!” enough that she thinks it’s her own name. Her story, from her perspective, rationalizes her questionable choices and proves that love truly conquers all.

Teen​

Charming as a Verb by Ben Phillipe
Phillipe’s humor shines in this fun YA contemporary novel about the (very) unlikely friendship that transpires from a “mutual hustle” between two high school seniors attempting to change their paths in life.

The History of the World in 50 Dogs by Mackenzie Lee
This humorous and informative compilation of 50 dogs from history will have you even more in awe of your loyal furbaby/guard dog/couch-ruiner and maybe even want to throw them an extra cookie or two.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
After losing her mother to depression, Leigh is certain she has returned as a crane to encourage Leigh to uncover the history her mother wasn’t able to articulate in the depths of her depression. This book is brilliant in its use of language, art, and color and is an incredibly valuable perspective on mental health.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Many readers have already enjoyed Simon Spier’s love story in this novel, and its film adaptation- Love, Simon. Simon’s Golden Retriever, Bieber is as lovable and memorable as the rest of the MCs in Becky Albertalli’s Simonverse.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
A stray dog comes into Ari’s life exactly when he needed a friend to help him sort out his feelings for Dante. The two end up bonding over the dog when they realize they need one another. This story is a lovely Summer read for puppy love, family, and growing up.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Children of Blood and Bone introduces us to Zélie, a teen in Orïsha who, with the help of her snow leoponaire, attempts to take down the kingdom attempting genocide on her small magical villiage. This fast-paced fantasy trilogy tackles both real-life and magical issues with diverse characters and meaningful themes. 

Elatsoe by Darcy Little Badger
Elatsoe, nicknamed Ellie, lives in an America enhanced by the magic and abilities of indigenous peoples. When her beloved cousin is murdered, she uses all resources, including her ghost dog, Kirby, to seek justice.

Again Again by E. Lockhart
Adelaide is fresh out of a breakup and beginning her Summer job as a dog walker, when she meets (again) an intriguing stranger (-ish) and begins an adventure with limitless possibilities in multiple realities. This unique story is full of easter eggs from Lockhart’s other novels, and will stick in your mind for years to come.

Adult

How to be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery
Naturalist Montgomery’s memoir was a Dedham town-wide read in 2019, but is certainly worth revisiting as it describes the lessons she has learned from pets, predators, and creatures she has worked with. Beautiful illustrations by Rebecca Greene introduce each creature, and the Author/Illustrator pair has teamed up to create a picture book adaptation for young readers- making this a perfect parent-child companion read!

Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman
Britt-Marie lives up to expectations as one of Backman’s extremely well-written, complicated, and loveable characters. After discovering her husband’s infidelities, Britt-Marie seeks to create a life all her own in an unremarkable small town with only a rat as a companion. This story is a thoughtful and endearing testament to independence, discovery, and the value of a well-arranged cutlery drawer.

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
This National Book Award-winning story delves into the loss of a friend, and the unexpected burden of a Great Dane to accompany her in their shared grief. The journey ahead of them is full of challenges for which they (eventually) feel lucky to have one another.

Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman
Children’s author and semi-ironic self-help columnist writer Judy finds her life in a bit of disarray while her son finds her embarrassing and her husband has begun an entrepreneurship as a “pot-addled snackologist” she can’t afford to divorce. One thing leads to another… and she finds herself slipping her dog into a baby sling and literally wearing a reminder of being needed and loved. Separation Anxiety is a novel for anyone longing to rewrite the past and envision a more comfortable future.

Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller
A literary debut for NPR reporter Lulu Miller, Why Fish Don’t Exist is an in-depth exploration of an anecdote heard in passing. What comes of it is a memoir/scientific adventure about Taxonomist David Starr Jordan and perseverance in the face of catastrophic adversity.

When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs that Saved Them by Jesse Freidin
When Dogs Heal introduces its readers to HIV+ adults and teens living their most complete lives thanks to the love and companionship of their dogs. 

Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs by Carolyn Knapp
Part memoir, part self-help, Pack of Two is an emotional exploration of the relationship between dogs and humans. Knapp was inspired to write this story by her dog, Lucille, whom she adopted after losing both her parents and ending her relationship with alcohol. Lucille was a companion through grief and loneliness when she needed one most, and this book is full of beautifully written observations and interviews and most importantly, the dog doesn’t die in this book.

Working from Home with a Cat by Heidi Moreno*
This debut graphic novel hits home for anyone who has recently adjusted to the virtual workplace and its new fluffy colleagues. Delightful and heartwarming, Working from Home with a Cat details the daily struggles and joys of our new normal.
*This book is on order and the library will have it shortly*

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