Being brave and falling in love

when dogs cryTITLE = When dogs cry

AUTHOR =Markus Zusak

GENRE =Growing up, Identity, Family relationships, Romance

INTEREST LEVEL =Years 10 and up

Cameron Wolfe comes from a struggling, working class family. Whilst he might not always see eye to eye with his brothers, he will fight to the death to support them if attacked by others. He is the youngest in the family and seems to be always in their shadow – a fact of which he is aware. He is desperate to find his way in the world and desperate to find love and this novel record his journey towrads both. AS he starts to write down his feelings, Cameron finds through the written word and poetry he can articulate some of the unruly feelings inside himself. The inner howling begins to make more sense. And as he takes his first tentative steps with a girl rejected by his brother, Cameron also begins to fall in love and feel even better about himself.

Gradually, his older brothers see that Cameron is someone of whom they can feel proud – and more importantly, Cameron begins to see this in himself, too.

This is a beautifully written book but may present a challenge for some readers, with the inclusion of poetry and symbolism. However, this beauty is matched by a very credible and often raw portrait of the violence and reality of the working class family.

Interesting review and biographical details provided in this article from

Another great synopsis and review

A worthy CBCA Honour book (OR – 2002)

Recommended (dma) ****

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I am a teacher-librarian in a government school. I love reading and talking about books ... to anyone who will listen!

One thought on “Being brave and falling in love”

  1. I did not like this book because i think there was too much violence and it was way too hard to read

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