Monday, December 23, 2019

MMGM- Banjo

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Salisbury, Graham. Banjo.
October 1st 2019 by Wendy Lamb Books
Public library copy

Danny lives on a ranch in Nevada with his father and older brothers. He loves his dog, Banjo, but one night Banjo doesn't come home. A neighbor, Mr. Brodie, claims that Banjo was chasing his sheep and was shot by one of his sons. Distraught, Danny hunts for his beloved dog and does find him, injured, in a cave. When he brings him home, Mr. Brodie brings the law and tells Danny that the dog needs to be put down. After trying unsuccessfully to rehome the dog somewhere far away, Danny says that he will shoot Banjo himself. He takes him far out in the woods but can't bring himself to pull the trigger, and abandons the dog instead. He feels awful, but hopes that this way Banjo has a bit of a chance. He does, when he is found by Meg, a girl who rides horses. She soon takes to the sweet tempered dog, but knows that he must belong somewhere. It turns out that Banjo has been microchipped, and after some sleuthing, Meg locates Danny. Of course, having Banjo alive is a big problem for him, especially since Mr. Brodie, who is a decent man, has given him a border collie puppy named Ruby. When further information about Banjo's shooting comes to light, Danny is able to exonerate Banjo.
Strengths: I'm always glad to see books that are set on working farms, and both Danny's and Meg's lives are interesting. The Nevada setting is one I don't see very often. Salisbury is always an effective writer, and he delivers a gripping tale of canine fidelity.
Weaknesses: The softhearted city slicker in me is appalled at the treatment of Banjo. Sylvie is definitely NOT a working dog!
What I really think: Will definitely purchase for my fans of dog books.
Ms. Yingling


  1. I love a good dog book and this one sounds perfect. Thanks for featuring it on MMGM and have a great holiday.

  2. What a heart breaking story. Like you I'm appalled the way Banjo is dealt with! Glad Meg finds him. Now I'm going to have to read the story to get the full story. Great review!

  3. How could one not pick up a book with that sweet dog on the cover? This sounds like a good story. Thanks for the heads up.