The Summer of Riley

By Eve Bunting

The ultimate boy and dog story. Heartwarming and inspiring story as a boy fights to keep his dog alive. For 8 – 12 year olds.

Eleven-year-old William gets his dog after a stormy period in his life; his parents have separated, dad has just got engaged and then his grandfather dies without any warning. Though Riley is no substitute for Grandpa, he is a wonderful dog. Riley behaves impeccably, he comes when called; doesn’t make puddles; sits up straight in the car and doesn’t tear up the flowerbeds. He is, in fact, the perfect dog. UNTIL one day he goes beserk with a neighbour’s beloved old racehorse. Local law states that any animal that chases livestock must be put to sleep. Suddenly William stands to lose something else that is close to him. Riley is taken away,…

William and best-friend Grace start a campaign to save Riley.They get him a lawyer and get an action group together to raise money for his defence. The Press latch on to the story. Another action group is formed by the horse owner’s friend and it’s their intention NOT to save Riley. Polls are taken and the electorate are undecided. The final day of Riley’s life dawns and it’s going to take a miracle to save him. But William never gives up. Through sheer determination and hours surfing the internet, William comes up with the answer and the novel ends happily.

An inspiring novel as William struggles to fight for what he believes in and about learning to accept life’s changes.

This is a hugely satisfying novel with a real feel-good factor. The pace is maintained to the end and it is a riveting read, particularly for animal-loving children.

Format: Paperback
Ageband: 8 to 12
Release Date: 09 Sep 2011
Pages: 160
ISBN: 978-0-00-714010-7
Eve Bunting has won the Golden Kite Award and is the three-time recipient of the Best Work of Fiction Award of the Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People. She has written more than 100 books for young readers including Blackwater, also published by Collins. Eve Bunting was born in Ireland but now lives in Southern California.