by Katherine Applegate and Gennifer Choldenko
illustrated by Wallace West
ages 8 and up
Feiwel and Friends / Macmillan
ISBN 978-1-2508-1160-8


Dogtown is a shelter for stray dogs, misbehaving dogs, and discarded robot dogs, whose owners have outgrown them.

Chance, a real dog, has been in Dogtown since his owners unwittingly left him with irresponsible dog-sitters who skipped town.

Metal Head is a robot dog who dreams of being back in a real home.

And Mouse is a mouse who has the run of Dogtown, pilfering kibble, and performing clever feats to protect the dogs he loves.

When Chance and Metal Head embark on an adventure to find their forever homes, there is danger, cheese sandwiches, a charging station, and some unexpected kindnesses along the way.


Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Very popular One Book, One School selection
Amazon Best Children's Book 2023
Amazon Editor’s pick
Amazon Best Book of the Month September 2023
New York Times Bestseller list 14 weeks
Indie Bestseller list 6 weeks
Large Print US
MacKids audio

International editions:
UK, Israel, Greece, Holland, Japan, Turkey, Germany, Romania, Poland


  “Super short chapters, perhaps suggesting a dog’s alleged limited attention span, keep the novel’s pace moving briskly toward a climax sure to please animal lovers despite a few sad moments along the way. … West’s grayscale art perfectly captures canine emotion and unbridled energy. … When Applegate and Choldenko collaborate, readers win.” (School Library Journal, starred review)

“Newbery Medalist Applegate and Newbery Honoree Choldenko team up for this uplifting escape novel.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Eminently readable and appealing; will tug at dog-loving readers’ heartstrings.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A sweet spotlight on shelter animals that is as heartwarming as it is entertaining.” (Booklist)

“An accessible, appealing romp that provides a dog’s-eye view of the nature of hope, belonging, and found family.” (The Horn Book magazine)

“The plot unfolds gently but directly, making this an easy choice for a classroom or family read-aloud, though tellers and listeners should have tissues on hand.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)

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