MOOCH GETS JEALOUS
Volume 21 Number 4
Carl is prey to the schoolyard bully, Gary, until Maggie, an oversized girl, comes along to save him. Maggie protects Carl and he becomes devoted to her. The only problem is that Carl thinks about Maggie so much that his dog Mooch becomes jealous. Mooch is an old dog, and he becomes so distraught that he tangles with a porcupine in the woods and then declines into what the vet calls a nervous breakdown. While all this is going on, Maggie suddenly leaves the school. Carl's attention turns back to Mooch, who recovers from his jealousy and resumes his usual place in the household.
The reader is left wondering what happens to Maggie. The explanation for her leaving is given by Carl's friend, who says that she is "dumb. Just like your dog. Because she's twelve and she doesn't know how to write her own name."
Gilles Gauthier deals nicely with the theme of bullying and feelings about a beloved pet, but the inversion of values implicit in treating Maggie and her welfare as less important than her effect on the dog is disturbing. Not recommended for purchase.
Adele M. Fasick is a professor at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario.
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