monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

junkyardogPublisher: Orca, 2009

Justin has a way with animals. When he gets an after-school job with a company that rents out guard dogs, Justin is thrilled. But he soon learns the business is not all that it appears.


"Polak writes with a nervy confidence, and her specificity lends an authenticity that lives beyond the book's relatively few pages. A powerful story for anyone who has ever looked into the eyes of a dog and accepted the offer: 'Be good to us, and we'll be good to you'" -- Booklist

"As ever, Polak's narrative style is succinct and engaging. Such abstract concepts as ethics and empathy are given concrete forms through a story that will particularly appeal to reluctant readers" -- Montreal Review of Books

"Junkyard Dog can provide some excellent food for thought regarding ethical questions of treatment of animals and whether an individual's need can excuse participation in unethical activities.... it might just get a dog-loving non-reader to happily crack open a book. And that is unarguably a good thing" -- CM Magazine

"It is not a long novel and will appeal to students, especially those who are facing similar family situations" -- Resource Links

a "direct, accessible high-interest title" -- The Horn Book Guide

"A really great book! ... This is a great read for the 9 to 12 year-old animal lover in your life or the teen who is feeling like he/she does not fit in (and we've all been there!) This story also introduces some complex topics: Justin's unstable home life, feeling like an outsider, the treatment of animals by some, doing what's right versus shutting up and collecting your paycheck.... Polak also has a blog which is a veritable boon of information, including recent events and writing tips" -- Word of Mouse Book Reviews