Goodreads: “Never underestimate the power of a boy and his dog.” After moving into a rural Iowa City neighborhood called the Sand Road circa 1967-68, Jake, a fatherless young boy of 12, discovers a world seemingly turned against him and his destitute family. Finding himself alienated from his surroundings both inside and outside of the old grey house that becomes the family’s home, Jake’s future seems hopeless, miserable and bleak… until he meets Sam. Sam is a dog that has been given to Jake’s family on a temporary basis that slowly becomes permanent, much to Jake’s chagrin. Neither boy or dog can quite accept the other until a chance revelation leads both into a relationship that defies the odds set against them. As their friendship grows, Sam’s independence and Jake’s reliance on him helps the boy overcome the obstacles in finding new friends and attending a different school while standing up to the bullies both off and on the school bus. What starts out being an unhappy situation becomes the story of the main character learning about positive relationships with his family and new found friends through various trials and adventures. As Jake struggles with young manhood in situations that are sometimes humorous, often times dangerous, he learns humility, honesty, faith, trust and love. As the unlikely alliance with Sam becomes paramount, putting the boy on a path of self- discovery, there is a realization that living on the Sand Road is not the end but merely the starting point to the rest of Jake’s life..
This is the story of a poor boy who grew up in the sixties and seventies when life in America was changing virtually every day. Midst the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy, this boy learns about life and the hierarchy of the poverty ridden lower-class living on a lonesome dirt road known, most unaffectionately at times, as Sand Road. Full of humor as Jake goes on crazy adventures that any child might think up during the monotonous dog-days of summer.
Well written ~ this reader could almost see herself throughout its pages.