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Dogs of the Deadlands


Published by Rock the Boat
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

‘It broke my heart and then splinted it back together again... Magnificent.’ Hannah Gold, bestselling author of The Last Bear

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

‘This visceral story of heartbreak and survival...has the memorable feel of a classic.’ The Guardian, Best children’s and YA books of 2022

Chernobyl, 1986. Natasha’s world is coming to an end. Forced to evacuate her home in the middle of the night, she must leave her puppy behind and has no idea if she’ll ever return.

Some time later, growing up in the shadow of the ruined nuclear power plant, pups Misha and Bratan need to learn how to live wild - and fast. Creatures with sharp teeth, claws and yellow eyes lurk in the overgrown woods. And they’re watching the brothers’ every move...

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: 9780861543205
  • Ages: 10 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

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

– The 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.

– The Guardian, Best children’s and YA books of 2022

‘The animal portion of the story is the dominant one, and along with being full of vivid naturalistic details about food and setting, it lays out rich webs of nonanthropomorphic but recognizable family and pack dynamics, emotional attachments, and differences in character among wolves, dogs, and hybrids… A multilayered tale of loss and renewal with elements both topical and universal.’

– Kirkus Reviews

‘A dog’s eye perspective that’s so vivid you can almost taste the earthworms.’

– FT, YA Book of the Year

'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

‘Dogs of the Deadlands is 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 Deadlands – swept 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

‘This is also 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

‘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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