Welcome to Dog Beach

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Welcome to Dog Beach, by Lisa Greenwald, is a book about relationships with both animals and humans.  Eleven year-old Remy is dealing with the recent death of her dog and is trying to forget the loss.  She is having a rough time, because memories of him are all around her.  At the beginning of the summer, she is asked to babysit for her neighbor every Monday and Wednesday.  Her neighbor has a dog also, and Remy finds herself watching the dog more than her neighbor's toddler.  Meanwhile, her two best friends, Bennett and Michaela, are acting strange.  Michaela seems to be hiding something, and Bennett isn't around as much as he used to be.  Remy is trying to figure out why.

     During the course of the summer, Remy spends lots of time with dogs and learns many things about her friends.  Remy is so good with dogs that people start noticing and asking her to dog sit.  She decides to let Bennett and Michaela in on the dog sitting business, thinking it will fix their friendships.  Rather than fixing their friendships, the dogs seem to make the situation worse.  Remy gets into a fight with Michaela and finds out the secret she's been hiding.  Remy feels almost in love with Bennett, but he doesn't seem to be in love with her.  Instead, he is spending more time with the twins that moved in next door.

     After reading Welcome to Dog Beach, I would recommend this book for girls in 5th grade and older, or others who like tween romance stories.  Younger children might not understand the romance.  There was a lot of interesting drama in this book, but I felt it was very repetitive.  I would rate this book a 3.5 to 4 (out of 5) because of the slow but steady start.  Welcome to Dog Beach,by Lisa Greenwald, is a romantic book for 10 year-old and up girls who are animal lovers.