Can a lost girl save a found dog? Find out in this unforgettable story about discovering true friendship, finding home, and the possibilities of forgiveness.
Hadley is angry about a lot of things: Her mom going to jail. Having to move to another state to live with her older sister, Beth, even though they haven't spoken in five years. Leaving her friends and her school behind. And going blind.
But then Hadley meets Lila.
Lila is an abandoned dog who spends her days just quietly lying around at the local dog rescue where Beth works. She doesn't listen to directions or play with the other dogs or show any interest in people. So when Lila comes and sits by Hadley (which is hardly anything, but it's more than she's done with others), Beth thinks maybe Hadley can help Lila. She tells Hadley they'll bring Lila home as a foster dog and Hadley can teach her to follow commands, walk on a leash, and be more of a people dog so she'll be ready to be adopted.
Only working with Lila is harder than Hadley thought, and so is the mobility training she starts taking to help with her failing vision. It feels like Lila is too stubborn to train and like learning to use a cane is impossible. But unless Hadley can help Lila, she'll never be adopted into a home. If Hadley could just let go of her anger, she might be able to save Lila... and herself.
New York Times bestselling author Kody Keplinger weaves an unforgettable story about discovering true friendship, finding home, and the possibilities of forgiveness.
About the Author
Kody Keplinger grew up in a small Kentucky town. During her senior year of high school, she wrote her debut novel, The DUFF, which is a New York Times bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, a YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and a Romantic Times Top Pick. It has since been adapted into a major motion picture. Kody is also the author of Lying Out Loud, a companion to The DUFF; That's Not What Happened; Run; Shut Out; and A Midsummer's Nightmare, as well as the middle-grade novels Lila and Hadley and The Swift Boys & Me. Kody lives in New York City, where she teaches writing workshops and continues to write books for kids and teens. You can find more about her and her books at kodykeplinger.com.
Read an Excerpt
I don’t know what makes me do it -- I sure didn’t plan to -- but I find myself crouching down in front of the kennel. And then I’m talking to the dog.
“Hey,” I say.
It doesn’t move, but I think its eyes are looking my way.
“Bad day?” I ask, as if the dog can answer. And I don’t know, maybe it kinda does. Its face certainly looks like it’s saying, “Yes. Terrible day.” I nod at it. “Me, too. A whole lot of them lately.”
Slowly, I reach my hand through the bars. I know Beth would probably tell me this ain’t safe, -- I don’t know this dog or what its temper is like, -- but I do it anyway. I move my fingers in a beckoning gesture. For a minute, I don’t think the dog’s gonna come to me. Not like I blame it. I didn’t wanna move from my bed today, either.
But then, it’s like it takes a second to make up its mind, before but it starts to stand. It moves towards me real slow, as if second-guessing every step. I ain’t sure what comes over me, but I hear myself cooing to it, softly saying, “Good dog. There we go. Come on.” And silly as it might be, it works.
The dog reaches me at last. It stares at my face for a minute. Its eyes are real big and brown and... sad. That’s the only way I know how to describe them. Sad and maybe... lonely? Then it lowers its huge head to sniff my palm. Once it’s done checking me out, I reach up and scratch behind one of its ears.
And then we both let out this sigh. Right at the same time. Like whatever has just happened has lifted a weight. Like we’re both relieved.
That’s how I meet Lila.