Published by
Knopf Books for Young Readers/
Random House Children's Books

...and by
Faber & Faber, London.
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My grandpa Harry says vinegar runs through my veins and I am too impatient for my own good.

He says I stomp around like a moose half the time and I am proud, prickly, and rude.

Also, I am thin as an eel and, come to think of it, not much better to look at, either.

Hornets whirl up in me when my grandpa talks like this, I can tell you that. I read in my encyclopedia of facts—The World Book of Unbelievable and Spectacular Things—that if you wanted to cuss someone out in the Middle Ages, you called him a clay-brained boar-pig, so that’s what I say to Harry.

“What?” he sputters. “Where in the name of Pete did you pick that up?”

I let my grandpa think about it as the afternoon train rumbles into town and shakes our skinny apartment beside the tracks. Grit from the sandpits sifts like sugar through the window screens. Harry swallows the last of his sardines and crackers with a big gulp of black coffee, pushes the newspaper away, and grabs his fishing hat. “Don’t you dare go anywhere on that old bike,” he growls. “I don’t care if school just let out for the summer. Thunder’s rolling in.”

When he stomps out, his gruff Marines voice marches right after him. He slams the door and the picture of me, my dog Augustus, and my papa flips on the floor. I pick it up, swipe off the grit. Of the three of us in that picture, I am the only one left.

I call Harry a loggerheaded maggot and about a thousand other cusswords as he walks up Main Street to the donut shop, which he took over after my papa’s stroke or else we would lose our shirts. I throw my report card in the trash and shove it to the bottom under all the coffee grounds. Then I rush in my room for my goggles and check the map of our town that I hung in the back of my closet, where Harry never goes. Each day I pick a new road to hunt for my dog, keeping track with a trail of stickpins.

Harry says you can’t keep a big sloppy dog like Augustus in our skinny apartment, so it’s best to forget him. A year is too long for a dog to remember a kid anyway—so put a lid on it.

My grandpa forgets how much you can love a dog or he would never say that. My dog slept on my bed and I fell asleep to his heart beating. He was the true-blue friend of my soul until that awful day my mum gave him away and flew back to California, where she is a lawyer now.
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Reviews
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Chasing Augustus
Beholding Bee
The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody
The Wonder of Charlie Anne
Tending to Grace
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"Gripping, animated narrative... God's bones! Magnificent."
Kirkus
Purchase this book from these sources:
"That's when I learned the true way of things: when you lose your dog, there's a hole in your heart as big as the sun. Your head aches all the time and you are so empty inside because you are half the girl you used to be."
Starred Review
Rosie
Chasing Augustus
"Gripping, animated narrative... God's bones! Magnificent."
 – Kirkus, Starred Review
"Excellent"
 – The Providence Journal
Random House Children's Books Indie Spotlight Pick.
"The writing is smooth and evocative as well as folksy, making this an easy pick for readers who enjoyed Patrone's The Higher Power of Lucky."
 – The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.
"Readers' hearts will ache along with Rosie's as she struggles to find not only her dog but also love and belonging...a heartfelt tale with a rewarding ending...a fleet of unforgettable personalities...will appeal to young fans of Kate DiCamillo..."
 – School Library Journal
“Rosie’s papa always told her she had grit, and here she shows as much of it as the sediment that covers the town and stings her eyes…she is a character who will remain with many readers after they turn the last page.”
 – Horn Book
"A clever plot twist, Rosie’s distinctive voice, and an intriguing cast of characters make "Chasing Augustus" a delightful, often heart-wrenching, and not-to-be-missed story.”
 – Christian Science Monitor
A Junior Library Guild Selection.
Continue reading
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Chapter 1