Ten-year-old Jerry Pye wants to have a dog as part of the family. After earning a whole dollar from dusting church pews, Jerry readily adopts the adorable Ginger; a pup Jerry has had his eye on for some time. However, someone else has also had their eye on adopting Ginger. This “unsavory character” seems to be following Jerry, his sister Rachel and Ginger, just looking for the opportunity to snatch Ginger away from the Pye family. This opportunity presents itself over Thanksgiving, leaving Jerry and Rachel crushed. Attempts are made to find Ginger, but with no luck. As days stretch into months it seems that Ginger might not be found, but 3-year-old Uncle Benny comes to rescue just in time for Jerry’s birthday.
What makes this book such an enjoyable read is the characters and the day-to-day life of a just about a half-year in the life of the Pyes. There’s 3-year-old Benny, uncle to Jerry and Rachel, who’s a celebrity in town due to being an uncle at such a young age. There is Sam Doody, who always seems to be smiling even when he isn’t. There’s also the “perpendicular swimmer” Dick Badger who swims only by diving down to the bottom of the water and swimming back up. These characters’ world revolves around simple pleasures like swimming at the reservoir; searching “skeleton houses” (new homes that only have the framework done) for firewood; rock climbing, family picnics and fun with their dog Ginger. A great story for those who have loved books like The Penderwicks.
Ginger Pye, by Eleanor Estes, Odyssey Classics, Harcourt, Inc., $6.99