‘Boy’s Best Friend’ by Kate Banks and Rupert Sheldrake is about two boys named George Masson and Lester Shoe, and their dogs, Bart and Bill Gates, respectively. Lester is the new kid who moved to Cape Cod (where the story takes place) from Denver. He likes mustard, and has quite a bit of trouble fitting in. George is a slightly depressed boy, whose best friend moved to North Carolina a while back.
When George and Lester are assigned a science project about animal behavior for school, they decide to conduct an experiment based on Rupert Sheldrake’s studies on dogs (‘Boy’s Best Friend’ was inspired by Rupert Sheldrake’s book ‘Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home’). George and Lester may end up discovering more than just how much their dogs know about them, though. If you haven’t heard of or read about Rupert Sheldrake’s fascinating ‘morphic resonance’ theory, then you might not understand everything that goes on in ‘Boy’s Best Friend.’ Basically, this theory refers to the idea that all animals, including humans, could possibly sense emotions and thoughts, based on a “morphic” field that holds thoughts and past memories.
One thing that was really interesting about this book was the fact that George emailed with Rupert Sheldrake to ask for help and guidance, and those emails are featured in the book. Quite a bit of the emails from Sheldrake included pieces of scientific information and interesting insights on some of his experiments.
Overall, I thought that ‘Boy’s best Friend’ was a very funny, charming book, with an unexpected ending. I recommend this unique read to animal lovers over the age of 8, because younger people might not fully understand the science experiment or might find the email exchanges boring. This book encourages children of all ages to try their own experiments of the sort that George and Lester did.