Dog 37, by Johnny Danalis

The dogs from cell block 4 filed from the lift into a dimly lit mine shaft. In the shadows, seven of the tiredest looking dogs that Dog 37 had ever seen sat slumped on the ground, hollow-eyed and silent.

Boof isn’t happy when the Turnbulls take him to the kennels while they go off on holiday. His family assure him that he’ll be living in canine luxury and write a list of special instructions for the carers at The Big Bone to follow.

When the family leaves, though, Boof is stripped of his name and his dignity. Now called Dog 37 he is put into a cold dark prison cell until it is time for him to start work in a mine deep below the ground. His three weeks of luxury look like becoming a lifetime of hard work and drudgery. Unless Boof can come up with a way to get himself – and his friends – to freedom.

Dog 37 is loads of fun. The idea of a dog prison-camp will appeal to young readers, who will love the novelty and silliness of the story. The book is peppered with cartoon-style illustrations by the author which not only demonstrate his multiple talents but also add to the humour.

Dog 37 will appeal to readers from age 7 up to 12 with loads of laughs and adventure.

Dog 37, by Johnny Danalis
UQP, 2004