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  • The Last Dog on Earth
  • Written by Daniel Ehrenhaft
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780440419501
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  • The Last Dog on Earth
  • Written by Daniel Ehrenhaft
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307486967
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Written by Daniel EhrenhaftAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Daniel Ehrenhaft

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List Price: $6.99

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On Sale: January 21, 2009
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-307-48696-7
Published by : Yearling RH Childrens Books
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Tags for this book (powered by Library Thing)
dogs (9) disease (8) fiction (7) adventure (5) ya (4) realistic fiction (4)
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Logan Moore hates everyone. The father who abandoned him. The stepfather who wants to control him. Kids who get in his face. Everyone. Except Jack. A mangy mutt that nobody wants. Except Logan. He doesn’t care that Jack has already bitten three workers at the animal shelter or that she’s ugly. She’s the only one who doesn’t want anything from him and that’s enough for Logan.
But Jack is in terrible danger. A mysterious disease is sweeping across the country, turning dogs into vicious, raging predators. Jack isn’t infected, but that won’t keep her safe. People are shooting dogs on sight, and asking questions later. Logan’s own parents want to hand Jack over to the authorities. Now Logan and Jack are on the run. There’s nowhere they can turn and no one they
can trust.
Except each other.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

"You know what the Wallaces' dog can do?" Robert asked. He slapped the steering wheel. "He can fetch his own leash when he wants to go for a walk. Can you believe that? Otis fetches his own leash!"

Robert had an annoying habit of slapping the steering wheel while he was talking and driving at the same time. Logan hated that.

Logan Moore hated a lot of things.

Mom said that hate was a strong word and that Logan shouldn't use it. Logan didn't agree. If hate was a strong word, then that was fine by him. If there had been a stronger word, he'd probably have used that one. In fact, hating was such a big part of his life that he kept a running list of all the things he hated.

The list changed from day to day. It could change from hour to hour, even. Sometimes it was bigger, sometimes smaller; sometimes it was just one word--Robert--so Logan never wrote the list down. He kept it in his head, where he kept everything else that mattered.

Right now the list read as follows:



THINGS I HATE



1.Being in the car with Mom and Robert

2.Listening to Robert jabber on and on and never shut up about the Wallaces' dog

3.The Wallaces

4.Their dog

5.The name Otis

6.Devon Wallace

7.Being angry



The list always ended the same way, because even on a beautiful June afternoon--with summer vacation just starting and the sun blazing and the wind whipping through the open car window--Logan could count on being angry for one reason or another. At the very least, he could always be angry that Mom had married Robert, whose pockmarked face looked like the surface of an asteroid and whose mission in life was to be the All-Knowing Dictator of Everything. Logan could also be angry that his father had run off when Logan was seven and was now living the high life somewhere in the boondocks in a mansion he'd built by himself that probably had a hot tub and a trampoline--but Logan wouldn't know because his father had never invited him to the place and never would. (Not that Logan even wanted to go.) And of course he could be angry about being angry all the time, since it was a lousy way to feel.

But Logan had gotten used to all that sort of stuff. He'd had to get used to it, or else he'd go crazy. And then, who knew what could happen? He might turn violent. He might turn to crime. Then he would end up being one of those kids you see on talk shows: the kids whose heinous behavior proves to the studio audience that teenagers are, indeed, very evil--and isn't it high time we did something about it?

Today Logan was just angry because Robert had burst into his room without knocking. Again. Then he'd torn the place apart, searching for the TV remote control. Again. He couldn't find it, of course, because Logan didn't have it. But that didn't stop him from throwing all Logan's stuff all over the place . . . his clothes, his books, everything--even the lousy baseball mitt that he never used because it was so stiff that it felt like concrete, and besides, there was nobody to play catch with, anyway.

Then Robert told him to clean up the mess.

And on top of all that, Mom and Robert were dragging him to the Wallaces' Summer Kickoff Barbecue for the eighty billionth time. Logan would rather have his eyes poked out with a sharp stick. He'd rather be hurled into a pit full of poisonous snakes. He'd rather do anything than be stuck in the same place as both Robert and Devon Wallace.

But there was no point in dwelling on what he'd rather be doing.

Every year, the Wallaces hosted the same Summer Kickoff Barbecue. Everybody in Pinewood was invited. That was the Pinewood spirit. Pinewood was the lame housing tract in the lame town where they all lived--that being Newburg, Oregon, otherwise known as Lameville, USA. And every year, the star attraction of the barbecue was Devon Wallace, the King of Lameness himself.

Devon was fourteen, just like Logan. They'd been in the same class since they were five. They were both going to start ninth grade at the same high school in the fall. Given Logan's luck, they would probably go to the same college, work at the same office, and end up buried in the same cemetery, too.

For the longest time, Mom and Robert had been putting up a fight to make Logan become better friends with Devon. It didn't take a genius to see why. From an adult point of view, Devon was perfect. He was a perfectly adequate student. He had perfect blond hair and perfect teeth. He was one of those kids who looked as if he belonged in a toothpaste commercial. He played about a zillion different sports, too, including soccer and water polo--yes, water polo--all perfectly.

Logan, on the other hand, had messy brown hair and a crooked smile (which most people never saw). People said he looked like his mother. Why, he wasn't sure. Mom was a middle-aged woman. How could he possibly look like her? He and Mom were both skinny, though, and they had blue eyes, which was probably what people were talking about.

As far as school went, he hated it and skipped whenever he could. And when it came to sports, he was decent at minigolf, but not much else. He liked to go hiking. But you couldn't beat anybody at hiking.

In other words, he didn't rate so high on the perfection scale.

So it was natural that his mother and stepfather would want him to hang out with Devon Wallace. They were hoping that some of Devon's perfection would rub off on him. Unfortunately, Mom and Robert missed what every single other adult also seemed to miss about Devon--namely, that he was an ass.

He was the worst kind of ass, too: a mean one. When adults weren't around, Devon spent all his time bragging or picking on other kids--especially if they were younger. He treated Logan as if he were an idiot because Logan didn't get good grades. As if grades had anything to do with how smart you really were.


From the Hardcover edition.
Daniel Ehrenhaft

About Daniel Ehrenhaft

Daniel Ehrenhaft - The Last Dog on Earth

Photo © Caroline Wallace

"[I know] what it’s like to be scared, and to put things off, and to worry about opening up to perfect strangers. Which is sort of akin to the process of being a human being, even if you aren’t a writer. . . . And seriously, what is writing, other than telling stories about being a human being?"--Daniel Ehrenhaft


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


If there’s one thing you can say about Daniel Ehrenhaft–aside from the fact that he’s worn the same corduroys for the past eleven years–it’s that he has a difficult time writing about himself. So when Random House asked him to contribute a little autobiography for this Website, he was naturally apprehensive.

At first, he decided to do some research on the subject of autobiography. He referred to this very site to read what other Random House authors had written about themselves. It didn’t help. For starters, he discovered that all these authors led fascinating, productive lives. To make matters worse, they all offered trenchant insight about what it means to be a writer.

As far as Mr. Ehrenhaft can tell, his own life as a writer boils down to a six-part regimen:

1) Drinking cheap coffee
2) Procrastinating (fiddling with the stereo, playing air guitar, etc.)
3) Reading a lot. Often, he’ll read something brilliant or moving or hilarious by someone he’s never read before, someone whose words end up blowing his mind–which is followed by
4) Jealousy and panic
5) Lunch
6) A nap

But, in a strange way, this process does eventually inspire him to put pen to paper. (Or his fingertips to the computer keyboard, as it were.) After all, he knows what it’s like to be scared, and to put things off, and to worry about opening up to perfect strangers. Which is sort of akin to the process of being a human being, even if you aren’t a writer.

And seriously, what is writing, other than telling stories about being a human being? If that sounds evasive and simplistic…well, maybe it is. On the other hand, that’s probably why a lot of writers do what they do. They open up in their stories in ways that–at their best–illuminate truths and complexities not only about themselves, but about their readers, as well. They write precisely so they don’t have to be evasive, which is what makes reading such a blast.

So really, Daniel Ehrenhaft just writes because he loves to read, and he aspires to do what all his favorite authors have done for him. In fact, if he had it his way, he would get paid to read. Then again, if he had it his way, he and his wife would live in a huge castle with a billiards room and a pool shaped like a figure eight, and a custom-made electric guitar signed by the surviving members of The Clash.

Until that happens, though, he’ll probably keep writing.
Praise | Awards

Praise

“A smartly written, thoroughly engrossing tale.”—Publishers Weekly

“A fast-paced novel with stark language . . . readers will be sympathetic to the pair’s plight.”—School Library Journal

“Nicely written with a sprinkling of humor amid the pages of action and adventure.”—VOYA

Awards

WINNER 2004 Texas Lone Star Reading List

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