Monday, December 16, 2019

MMGM- I, Cosmo

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.

Sorosiak, Carlie . I, Cosmo.
December 24th 2019 by Walker Books US
ARC provided by the publisher

Cosmo is the "big brother" of Max and his young sister Emmaline, and is now 13 years old. He still is very invested in keeping his pack safe, but he has slowed down, and is beset with arthritis. Things are tense in the household-- the parents fight all the time, and Max is often sad and anxious. It helps a bit when Uncle Reggie comes back from his recent deployment, although he is out of work and missing the dog he worked with, Rosie. He introduces Max and Cosmo to canine freestyle dance competition. Since Cosmo is a long time fan of the movie Grease, his aged heart soars when he is able to dance. The family problems continue, but Max tries to keep up with school and his other obligations while his world is falling apart. Max believes that he can keep his parents together by winning the dance competition and getting a spot in a movie, but Cosmo is afraid that the neighbor sheep dog, whom he thinks is evil, will do something in the competition to sabotage them. Eventually, things do fall apart, but Max's parents do not split up the boy and his best friend, and Max does not die. (I read the end of the book first, just to be sure.)
Strengths: There are a lot of books "narrated" by dogs, and most of them assume that dogs are a bit less bright than their humans. Not this one. Cosmo understands more about his humans than they do themselves, and he is keenly aware of Max's emotional state. This is the dog book that we all think our OWN dogs would write. It's really more of a story about divorce and its effects on children, but since we see everything through Cosmo's eyes, this becomes a dog book.
Weaknesses: I wish there were more about the dance competition and less about the divorce.
What I really think: Dog books, like horse books, tend to be pretty timeless, and I always need to add a few to the collection every year. I will buy this one. It made me cry at the end, but it also made me feel better about everything I do for Sylvie (who is also 13 and a little arthritic. She has her own rice bag that I heat up and leave with her in the mornings, although now I feel like I should also leave a radio on!).
Ms. Yingling


  1. I actually like a good dog story, but you make this one sound so much better than most. Luckily, we just received a copy at Bank Street, and if it's still there when I go back, it definitely going home with me.

    The lady in the apartment upstairs from me leaves talk radio on for her dog. He still cries when he's alone, which leads me to think maybe a little light music would be more soothing than the politics of the day for a dog.

  2. I would like to say how much I enjoy reading your reviews. I am in Australia. I have this book on my to read pile. I do like dog stories and I love books packed with emotion so this sounds perfect for my Summer (it's summer here) reading. Hope your Christmas is very special. I'm in awe of your reading stamina and wonderful sharing. Thanks

  3. An evil neighborhood sheep dog - I love it! Like you, if I read it I probably would want more of the dance competition (and the evil sheep dog), I definitely can appreciate how the story is told about divorce and it's affects by using a dog as the narrator of the story. Not an easy subject to write about or read about so I appreciate the approach the author took.

  4. I just got this book! Enjoyed your comments and can't wait to read it! Love the idea of a dog smarter than his/her humans. Happy Holidays!

  5. This sounds like such a sweet book! What a great way of depicting how much dogs can sometimes understand about the humans around them. Thanks so much for the review!

  6. Well, that cover! I would pick it up just for that. It sounds like a pretty good story. I'll bet the kiddoes will like it a lot. I think I would too. Thanks for your thoughts. Happy Holidays to you.

  7. I'm right in the middle of this one and, due to Cosmo's age, it did feel a little like we might be losing him. I'm so glad that's not the case. We just had to put our dog down in October, so I'm not in a good place to read about the loss of a beloved pet. Have a great reading week!