boo-the-underdog-with-a-heart-of-goldWhat it’s about:

Boo is an unlikely hero. The runt of his litter and the class dunce in puppy training, the odds are definitely stacked against him. But there’s more to little Boo than meets the eye, for he might be clumsy and short-sighted, but he radiates love and empathy.

Working as a therapy dog alongside owner Lisa, Boo has been a true miracle worker, helping countless people with his kindness, soft fur and warm heart. From young dyslexic children struggling to read aloud to the terminally ill seeking comfort in their final hours, Boo has an uncanny ability to sense what each individual needs. And for Lisa, suffering from her own health problems, Boo’s presence in her life is an unexpected gift she continues to treasure.



Seriously, with a book cover this cute how could you not want to read this?! I probably wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re not an animal lover but being a dog owner myself, I can relate to some of the struggles, frustration and touching moments Lisa goes through with my own dog, in terms of potty-training, learning new commands and being comforted by a big ball of fluff.

This book really touches your emotions and I praise the author for writing such a heart-felt, honest and very personal account of her life. This true story follows the path of young Boo, found as a puppy in a cardboard box in a pet shop by Lisa who takes him home to her apprehensive husband only to find that Boo isn’t like any other dog. She later finds out that the cause of Boo’s year-long potty training and clumsiness is due to a disability which only makes Lisa more determined to find Boo’s place in the world. In which she does. I found this book a very interesting read as being a dog trainer she often refers to psychological studies about dogs and their behaviours, relationships and actions. This book really touched a soft-spot with me, being a dog owner and animal lover I showed all the emotions whilst reading it as I’m sure Lisa did whilst writing. From joy when Boo encouraged a little boy with selective-mutism to talk for the first time in his entire life to pure grief and sadness when one of her other dogs, Atticus, passed away. She repeats throughout the book that she believes we don’t always get the dog we want but the dog we need. The dog that will teach us something we didn’t know before or bring something out in us (or themselves) that we didn’t know we had and this was definitely the case for Boo. This book has made me look at my own dog differently and I think that’s what’s important in a book – being able to transfer the words and lessons you learn whilst reading into your own life long after you put the book down.

The only criticism I have is as it is set in America, there’s a lot of places, names and terms she uses (particularly for dog training programmes) that I’m completely unfamiliar with. I would have looked them up online and read more into them but there was just so many I would have been there all day. I generally wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who wasn’t an animal-lover or particularly interested in animals however it may make you look at them in a different light. However if you’re a fan of animals or have a furry friend yourself, this is a must-read that will tug at emotions you never knew you had.


  1. Hi I was wondering if this book is suitable for a 9 year old to read. My daughter loves dog’s she was given marley and me recently and after her reading a couple of chapters I found out it wasn’t appropriate for her. And I don’t want to make the same mistake. Thank you

    1. Hi, there are some bits in it she probably wouldn’t understand in terms of IVF treatment, that sort of thing but there’s so inappropriate sex or violence references or anything like that so I think it should be okay! There’s lots to do with how the dogs help disabled or elderly people so I think it could benefit her, especially if she loves dogs! Hope this helps 🙂

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