Publisher: Pushkin

This is the story of a dog. We first meet him when he is just 11 weeks old and from the very start, his circumstances make him a very insecure puppy. As the last in his litter to be taken, and in the end given away because nobody chose to buy him, he’s unwanted - or at least that’s what a sinister talking spider tells him.

This spider travels along with the dog to his new home with 12-year-old Tom, who ends up calling his new puppy Spider due to his long legs. Tom is going through a tough time at home with his parents separating and some really horrible bullying at school. When Spider and Tom get separated, things get much more challenging.

This is a very unusual book. Poor Spider the dog has to listen to a lot of very negative voices from the insects and animals he meets, so thank goodness for the flea who is the kindest of them all. He gets really confused over which paths to take and makes some bad decisions. But in the end, what doesn’t break you makes you stronger. Ultimately, this book is about finding out who you are as you grow up. It’s funny, but also deadly serious. A great read.

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