Reviews of The Prairie Dogs
"The Prairie Dogs is an admirable first novel recommended for ages eight and older. It entertains many social themes: homelessness, bullying, rural vs. urban lifestyles, and friendship…its genuine appeal is Goertzen's ability to think like a dog and write humorously from that mindset. At the same time, she offers a great deal of information about animals and animal habitats...The Prairie Dogs takes us to very real places which even prairie dwellers have often not been privileged to experience." ~ Ellen Donogh, Canadian Children's Book News, Winter 2006
"More than just another fish-out-of-water story, this is a delightful, fast-paced tale of canine survival and camaraderie that ends with a wholly satisfying conclusion. Characters such as Mew, the puppy who thinks she's a cat, and Mouse, the sensitive Chihuahua who faints at the most inopportune moments, are quirky and memorable... an excellent choice for fans of animal fiction and for teachers looking for an appealing classroom read-aloud." ~ Carol L. MacKay, Quill & Quire, May 2005
"Pierre and his Prairie Dog friends are caring, supportive and protective of each other, yet their story does not escape the harsh reality of independent existence. They must constantly steal their food, and battles with the Bull Dog gang are always imminent. However there are lessons to be learned and the outcome is plausible and satisfying. The vocabulary is appropriate and free flowing, keeping the story moving at a good pace. Several black and white illustrations, scattered throughout this chapter book, are animated and fun. An entertaining story, especially for animal lovers, it is recommended for a school library collection." ~ Carolyn Cutt, Resource Links, April 2005
"A droll dog tale... with zany illustrations by Philippe Beha." ~ Canadian Family Magazine, April 2005
"The Prairie Dogs has moments of drama and is lots of fun--a touching and absolutely delightful story!" ~ Denise Moore, Hi-Rise Magazine, April 2005
"The plot moves very well and keeps the reader’s interest... The book was very enjoyable. It was suspenseful to see if Pierre’s owners would return, if Pierre would be caught by the Bull Dogs or Mr. Calloway, and if Mr. Abram has gone to the 'Forever Field,' like Mew’s mother, after he left in the ambulance. The ending is delightful. The novel is highly recommended as a read aloud book to younger children and a must for school, public and personal libraries for middle year students." ~ Deborah Mervold, CM Magazine, March 2005
"Good book. Short. Took me only two hours to read it." ~ Glenda's father
Nominated for the 2005 Saskatchewan Book Award.
Nominated for the 2006 Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Award.
Nominated for the 2006/2007 Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Diamond Willow Award.