Teen Girl Converses With Canines in New Young Adult Novel

(DGIwire) – Every dog owner feels they have a special bond with their pet. Some even swear they can interpret every bark, growl or whimper. Very few people, however, would claim to be able to translate the canine language into complete English sentences. What would life be like if a conversation could be carried on with a dog as easily as with a family member?

Fifteen-year-old Sari Freestone has a secret. Shy, lonely and gifted, afraid of being considered weird or even crazy, she is determined never to reveal what she has been hiding her entire life: she has this very ability to translate canine into human language, instantly and intuitively. The dramatic situations to which Sari’s odd gift leads are woven into a dramatic new young adult novel, Girl Talks Dog! (Amazon, 2019) by Susan Thaler.

In this fast-paced, lighthearted and uplifting tale, readers come to know Sari, whose bond with her father—an award-winning reporter at a Washington, DC newspaper—has become ever closer following her mother’s untimely death. At the beginning of the novel, the greatest source of stress in Sari’s life is processing the fact that Ryan Morrison, the handsome teenage son of the nation’s first female president, Kathryn Morrison, has enrolled in her school. Surely he would never find anything interesting or attractive about Sari, she believes.

We go on to meet the other students with whom Sari interacts—some friendly, some nerdy, some downright meanspirited. And we meet Brodie, the adorable Irish Wolfhound rescue that shares the Freestone’s home—and whose every utterance Sari is able to secretly understand.

Through a series of accidents and coincidences, Sari and her circle of friends—which eventually comes to include Ryan—are swept up into a sinister series of events involving the vice president, a hit man and an impending attempt on the president’s life. Sari’s unlikely gift plays a key role in the unfolding sequence of events, which play out in triumph and tragedy alike.

One of the book’s most endearing details is hearing dogs’ utterances as Sari herself hears them: first as a series of incomprehensible yelps but then as crystal-clear English sentences. And we come to appreciate the anguish Sari feels as she grapples with hiding her gift from those who love her most. In the end, she must overcome her feelings to ensure that justice is done and that life can go on.

Now available for sale on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle, Girl Talks Dog! is an engaging yarn that is sure to spark the imaginations of any young reader—especially those with a love of dogs.