When I saw the puppy on the cover of this book, I was a goner. I’ve read plenty of stories about dogs (eternal thanks to Aoife for passing along her copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain), and this one looks wonderful.
Here is what Beltor has to say about Almost Perfect:
An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.
Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.
Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .
Kirkus Reviews had some very nice things to say about this book, and as an added bonus, Diane has committed 100% of her profits from this book to charities that serve animals and children. Lots of information about Diane, her book, and the real-life dogs who inspire her can be found on her website.