The Runaway Dog Team

Our rating: ****½

More than anything, 16-year-old Peter Riggett wants to be considered a man, so he finds it an affront to his pride when his father won’t let him a buy a very good sled dog that was offered at a ridiculously cheap price. Mr. Riggett had good reason to be suspicious of the seller’s honesty, but he fails to tell Peter his reasons. Peter, frustrated by what he sees as unfair treatment by his father, runs away from home. Too proud, and secretly too ashamed, to go back home, Peter joins a group of men, finding out later that the men are rum-runners. Peter is finally thrown out of the group when he stands up to the leader, who is the man who tried to sell Peter the dog earlier. Feeling that he must redeem himself for his past actions, Peter joins two police officers and another man named Pewee Ledoux in the hopes of catching the gang he has just escaped.

There is much more to this book than can be put into a summary. It would make a good read-aloud, though some characters talk in broken English mixed with the occasional French that could be difficult to read out loud. The Runaway Dog Team is written in an late 1920s style, so there are a few places where the author gets a little wordy. Other than that, this is a great story of a self-centered boy learning to dump his pride and finding what it really means to grow to manhood.