Dog Gone

I darted into the cemetery and hid behind a tombstone. I hunched myself up, balancing on the balls of my feet, and peered desperately into the night, listening for whoever was out there to make another sound. It was freezing – I had trouble keeping my jaw clamped shut so my teeth didn’t chatter.”

Ish’s dog is gone. Vanished in a country town. Mum’s on holiday, Dad’s in Sydney. Ish and his bossy sister Molly are staying with Gran. There are no clues. Only something mysterious in the town’s graveyard. Then a bully from the local school starts to blackmail Ish. Can things get any worse?

“Written with charm and humour, this is a story full of incident and emotion about a missing dog, a ghost and a family at crossroads – but most of all about the wondrously healing power of poetry in the life of a child.’ — Ursula Dubosarsky”

Published by Celapene Press. Distributed by Novella. Available to buy in any good bookshop or online store.

Dog Gone Resources

If you’d like a taste of Dog Gone, listen to author Kesta Fleming read the first chapter.

Teachers notes and resources for Dog Gone

Dog Gone Reviews

I discovered Dog Gone recently, a children’s chapter book by Carole Poustie, published by Avant Press, and I’m so pleased I did. From the start, Dog Gone speaks to us in the strong, vibrant voice of its main character, Ish …
‘Dog Gone is fast-paced, with great characters. The language is evocative but simple enough for junior primary readers to understand.'

The Book ChookProduct Designer

Death, disappearance, separation, ghosts, bullying – sounds a bit depressing, right? Not in the hands of Poustie. This is, in fact, one of the most positive books I’ve read… Poustie’s poetic turns of phrase make this book charming, heartfelt and friendly. For a child, it’s like visiting a best friend for a chat … A gorgeous story, and a must-read for both boys and girls.

Megan BlandfordKids Book Review

Written with charm and humour, this is a story full of incident and emotion about a missing dog, a ghost and a family at crossroads – but most of all about the wondrously healing power of poetry in the life of a child.

Ursula Dubosarsky

The poems provide a good introduction to free-form poetry, giving this book application in the classroom and perhaps encouraging young readers to have a go at writing their own poetry… This novel for younger readers is more than just a lost dog story. It is a story of hope, the ability to adapt, enchanted fishing rods and, best of all, poetry.

Tina CavanoughMagpies

Ish’s poems are collected in one sequence at the end – ‘Ish’s Poetry Journal’ – all the ones from the text, but some others as well. All a joy to read.

Dr Virginia Lowe

… I loved the book. Started it at lunchtime at work and just wanted to keep reading to see what happened …. Ish is a great character and the poetry such a wonderful element in the story.

Kathryn Duncan

Ish’s free verse is accessible, hearting-warming and humorous. They feature as little treats throughout the story, breaking-up the narrative and providing background. The narrative is exceedingly well-written. Told in first person from the perspective of Ish, it is convincing and not overly colloquial, which is somewhat refreshing.

Reading Time

In The Dark

“I pulled the letter out of my pocket and looked at Grandpa’s writing. … I should give it to Mum — it was hers after all. …But how could I? I’d have to admit going down into the cellar. … Now that I’d come this far, I’d have to read what he’d said.

I stood in the moonlight and began.”

A forbidden foray into an old cellar leads Ish to unearth a startling discovery. When he opens his late Grandpa’s undelivered letter to Mum, Ish is sucked into a vortex of secrets and lies – and one unexpected truth.

Now he must live with the consequences.

“A story about a boy who writes poetry to make sense of his world – and learns that in the face of loss, treachery and deceit, love is what matters.”

Published by Celapene Press. Distributed by Novella. Available to buy in any good bookshop or online store.

In The Dark Resources

Read some background info on how In the Dark came into being and a bit about Carole’s writing processes. View interview with Karen Comer

If you’d like a taste of In The Dark, listen to author Kesta Fleming read the first chapter.

Teachers notes and resources for In The Dark

In The Dark Reviews

Carole Poustie has succeeded in creating a novel that will keep the reader riveted with surprising happenings, twists and turns. The crisp prose, excellent characters and emotional tension keeps the pages turning.
This is an impressive novel about the importance of identity; how secrets can destroy, but then rebuild lives when told, and how misunderstandings can lead to the breakdown of family structures. It addresses human weaknesses and imperfections, shows why the power of love can overcome even the greatest of obstacles, and reflects on the reasons many families keep their skeletons hidden in the closet.

Kids Book Review

In the Dark is a middle fiction novel suited to those who like drama and suspense. It has themes of family, friendship, loss and dishonesty. The story is written in the first person by Ish, a nickname given to him at birth. Throughout the story Ish writes poetry, a passion he shared with his late grandfather. Not only does he use it as a way of expressing himself but it is also a way of keeping a beautiful connection to his grandfather. In the Dark is Carole’s second novel for children.

Buzz Words