The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was an avid reader from a young age. It was only middle school and high school, when books were assigned, that I stopped reading so much. I didn't care for Old Yeller or The Hobbit, and yet I had to read them anyway. What a stupid way to teach. In high school I loved the books I chose for myself, but I rarely even read the assigned ones. So far, I don't think I was missing much. Except Hamlet. That one has come back to haunt me several times, and this is the latest way. See, all I know about Hamlet I learned from The Lion King.
I hope it's not a spoiler to tell you that this book is an adaptation of Hamlet (at least as much as I know about the story), because I could tell as much from reading the dust jacket, and one of the praises on the back cover said so explicitly. Edgar lives an idyllic life on a dog-breeding farm, until his uncle appears and then his father dies. A series of events occurs, and Edgar runs away to the woods with a few dogs, where he matures, and then he returns to confront his uncle. The story only surprised me by sticking so closely to what little I know of Hamlet.
It's a good story, though. It's one of those books that reads like molasses: slow but smooth and sweet. The author takes the time to really delve into each character (even some dogs), and even though I had a hunch about what was coming, I wanted to read how it was presented.
Thanks to Penny for recommending it!