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Dogs of the Deadlands


Published by Rock the Boat
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



About The Book

‘This book! It broke my heart and then splinted it back together again. Full of hope and love and wildness... Imagine Watership Down meets The Animals of Farthing Wood but fiercer.’
Hannah Gold, author of The Last Bear

Chernobyl, 1986. Without humans, how will dogs survive?

As humans fled the nuclear disaster, they were forced to leave their pets behind. Without people, nature began to return to the woods surrounding the power plant—lynx, bear, and wolves. But the overgrown forest is no place for dogs. Can Zoya, and her pups Misha and Luka, learn to survive in the deadlands? And will Zoya ever find her way home to her beloved owner?

Praise for Anthony McGowan:

‘McGowan's prose is beautiful in its brevity and devastating in its emotional impact.’ Bookseller

‘The Carnegie medal winner McGowan is superb at stories about children who do not have all the advantages.’ The Sunday Times

About The Author

Anthony McGowan is one of the most widely acclaimed young adult and children’s authors in the UK. His books have won numerous major awards. In 2020, he was awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal for Lark. He was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal with Rook and won the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Catalyst Award for Henry Tumour. His YA novel The Knife that Killed Me was made into a critically-lauded film in 2014. Anthony lives in London, with his wife, two children and dog.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Rock the Boat (September 13, 2022)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861543199
  • Ages: 10 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

‘Insightful and entertaining, this is animal storytelling at its best.’ New Zealand Listener

'This wonderful novel deserves to receive the literary equivalent of the starlight barking to ensure it’s read by all.' Times

'This book! It broke my heart and then splintered it back together again. Imagine Watership Down meets The Animals of Farthing Wood but fiercer.' Hannah Gold, author of The Last Bear

‘This visceral story of heartbreak and survival, complemented by Robinson’s sharp images, has the memorable feel of a classic such as White Fang or Watership Down.Guardian, Best children’s and YA books of 2022

‘A dog’s eye perspective that’s so vivid you can almost taste the earthworms.’ FT, YA Book of the Year

A multilayered tale of loss and renewal with elements both topical and universal.’ Kirkus Reviews

'A fabulous and unsentimental tale… This tells of courage, of loss, of survival against the odds, and ultimately of a hope that brings some meaning to life… The narrative is pacy, beautifully written, and with very well considered description to bring the story to life. This is a great read and an inspiring story.’ School Librarian Editor’s Pick

‘A heart-rending odyssey about love between dog and girl.' New Statesman, Book of the Year

'A powerful and beautifully illustrated book about the bond between Natasha and her puppy Zoyu.’ Irish Examiner, Book of the Year

‘Beautifully written and emotionally devastating.’ Bookseller, Most Anticipated Children’s & YA titles 2022

Steeped in Richard Adams’ Plague Dogs and Watership Down, yet wearing all the hallmarks of Barry Hines at his finest, Dogs of the Deadlands is a wonderful thing. It moved me and stayed with me for an awfully long time.’ Phil Earle, author of When the Sky Falls

A truly unforgettable tale of hope in the wilderness. This story feels classic, timeless. It will be read and read and read and loved by so many readers for a long time to come.’ Keith Gray, author of Ostrich Boys

I was completely blown away by this brilliant, beautiful story. I was propelled back to reading Watership Down as an eight year old – this gave me that same feeling of having been indelibly changed by a story. It's a rare and special thing for a book to do.’ Catherine Bruton, author of No Ballet Shoes in Syria

Raw, unflinching, and blisteringly well written, Dogs of the Deadlands is already certain to be one of my books of the year! Just WOW.’ A. M. Howell, author of The Garden of Lost Secrets

Extraordinary – exciting, brutal, heartbreaking, it carries you along with every howl, every bite and every moment of joy. Wonderful!’ Alastair Chisholm, author of Orion Lost

‘This is a powerful novel about how people’s lives can change in an instant, and how the animals affected by human disaster learn to survive… a tense, thought-provoking drama whose descriptions of animal life are reminiscent of Watership Down. Rock the Boat is publishing a sumptuous hardback edition.’ Charlotte Eyre, Bookseller, One to Watch

‘Loved Dogs of the Deadlandsswept along by the story powerful telling of dogs’ survival in the wilds against the backdrop of Chernobyl and the spaces humans left behind.’ Gill Lewis, author of A Street Dog Named Pup

‘The dogs’ behaviour is convincingly authentic… A phenomenal story of survival despite, and because of, the desolation of a modern nuclear fallout.’ Simon Barrett, Armadillo Magazine

‘A story about hope… a story that never lets up in excitement and overall engagement from start to finish.’ Books for Keeps, 5* review

‘The devastation the explosion caused is hauntingly described… There is, though, a lot of hope here too.’ Literary Review

‘Underscores the dangers of nuclear power plants and their catastrophic effects on pets and wildlife when problems arise like the Chernobyl meltdown. A story that will linger in the mind and memory of its young readers...' Midwest Book Review

‘This gripping and unusual tale… A remarkable and intimate story of loyalty and love, resilience, survival and hope.’ BookTrust

Praise for Anthony McGowan:

‘The Carnegie medal winner McGowan is superb at stories about children who do not have all the advantages.’ Sunday Times

‘McGowan's prose is beautiful in its brevity and devastating in its emotional impact.’ Bookseller

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