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A Home for Dakota
by Jan Zita Grover
illustration by Nancy Lane

ISBN 978-0-940719-05-7
24 pages, 24 color illustrations
$16.95 jacketed cloth
2009 KIND Children's Book Award
2008 Henry Bergh Children's Book Award
2008 Henry Bergh Children's Book Award 2009 KIND Children's Book Award
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Dog No. 241 lives in a crate in a cold, dark barn that is stacked with hundreds of other caged dogs in a puppy mill breeding operation. She has never known human companionship, exercise, or decent care. One night, rescuers arrive and take her and the other dogs away to lead new and happier lives. Soon, despite her fears, she finds herself in a warm, secure foster home, being bathed and groomed and loved by a young woman named Emma. At first, she is too frightened to respond; all she wants is to return to the familiar dark.

Eventually renamed Dakota, she learns to love and trust Emma, and her foster home becomes a friendly haven. But then a new challenge arrives in the person of a young girl, Sweetie, who is recovering from a misfortune as deep as Dakota's own. Sweetie and her parents come to look at Dakota as a possible pet. Initially, Sweetie rejects hairless little Dakota, but later she returns to offer Dakota a home, and Emma recommends her for adoption. With Emma's reassurances, Dakota goes to her forever home to become Sweetie's true partner in recovery.

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“A Home for Dakota is a poignant story of hope. The text and outstanding illustrations will help to build understanding, empathy, and compassion in young readers toward both dogs and other children. This book is a must read in elementary school classrooms and will be the springboard for valuable discussions and research. Highly recommended.”
Sheila Schwartz, Ed.D.,
Chairperson United Federation of Teachers,
Humane Education Committee, NYC
“This timely and empathy-provoking story about an endearing dog will bring greater awareness to an important issue and become a resource that will help dogs like Dakota.”
Stephanie Bucalo, Humane Education Specialist, Humane Teacher Librarian Booklist,


Jan Zita Grover author of North Enough: AIDS and Other Clear-Cuts (1997) and Northern Waters (1999), both from Graywolf Press, has worked in canine rescue since 1973, specifically with discarded puppy mill breed dogs. Dakota is modeled on one of Jan's own rescued dogs, Pixie.

Nancy Lane Nancy Lane is the illustrator of several previous children’s picture books about animals. Ever since she was seven years old she has known what she wanted to do: illustrate books for children. She studied art at Maryland Institute, College of Art. After graduation, she worked briefly as an art director before becoming a freelance illustrator.

In her art, she enjoys portraying emotion in the faces of people – and animals. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York with her husband, two teens, and her rescue dog and cats.

Our "Sit! Stay! Read!" series of picture books for children seeks to explorer issues and ideas that explore the bond between animals and humans.

The Gryphon Press, a voice for the voiceless .