Review Blog

Mar 11 2019

The dog who saved the World by Ross Welford

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HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN: 9780008256975.
(Ages: 9-12) Recommended. Themes: Time Travel, Virtual reality, Family Life, Dogs. Set in the near future Ross Welford's The Dog Who Saved the World takes us on a fast-paced journey into the world of virtual reality and time travel.
Eleven-year-old Georgie lives in Whitley Bay with her dad, brother Clem and dad's girlfriend, Jessica. Unfortunately, Jessica is allergic to Georgie's rescue dog Mr Mash and he's returned to St Woof's dog shelter. Georgie volunteers at the shelter and loves to take Mr Mash on beach walks joined by Ramzy Rahman her best friend. Their lives change forever when Georgie's over exuberant animal knocks an old lady down, eats her swim cap and scratches her watch. Little did they know; this encounter was a master plan devised by Dr Emilia Pretorius who needs the assistance of Georgie and Ramzy to test her secret project. She also demands that they don't tell their parents - alarm bells should be ringing!
The doctor is an eccentric genius who has built a VR machine capable of sending people into the future. Some of the trips become quite scary; a giant scorpion attacks them and split-second decision-making is needed. At the same time, a deadly canine disease sweeps across the country and Georgie's pet, Mr Mash, falls ill. Georgie and her dog are both needed to save the world.
Welford's The Dog who saved the World is fantastical, scientific, dramatic and even humorous. He builds the tension and drama as he sends his feisty protagonist into the future to find answers needed for the current issues. Realistic emotions underpin the narrative, family relationships, friendships and the special bond between a girl and her loved pet make this an exciting novel for readers. Shared with an Upper Primary class, there are engaging discussion points and research links, with changing the laws of quantum physics, scientific espionage, future travel and the impact of deadly global diseases.
Rhyllis Bignell

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