Cecilia Murray’s favorite place to be is helping out at her local dog shelter, which scratches the itch for a pet that she’s not allowed to have at home. Then when a little pug is brought into the shelter, Cecilia falls in love. This little dog, she names Potato, doesn’t last long at the shelter. He’s swiftly adopted by the most popular and arrogant boy in school—Eric Chung. Eric has plans to turn Potato into a show dog, but it isn’t as easy as he might think. Potato needs love and well, Cecilia to help him heal and find his place in his new home. And when Eric and Cecilia put their heads together, Potato thrives and love blooms.
I recognize that this is a middle grade novel written for girls. Let me challenge you to rethink this.
Take the movie 13 Going on 30, one of my favorites staring Jennifer Garner. Now this movie isn’t a life changing story (or is it). Nor is it going to go down in history as one of the most compelling features of all time. But just like this movie, Sit, Stay, Love—and those similar to it—is designed to trigger the feel-good emotions within.
Now I ask you to imagine how important that is for young girls who are struggling to find their place in the world and being okay with who they are. Cecelia is growing up without her mom and finding that after her best friend moves away, her most cherished companions are shelter dogs. Is that really so bad? Well, the adults in her life think it is. They believe she needs to be a little more well-rounded and be like other girls her age.
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