Somewhere in the 17-century Caribbean, just as she is about to escape with her true love, feared pirate Emer Morrisey is murdered and mysteriously cursed with the “dust of one hundred dogs.” Three hundred years later, teenager Saffron Adams agonizes over disappointing her overbearing parents with the news that she does not intend to go to college; after all, it would be unreasonable to expect them to understand her desire to seek out buried treasure (much less her desire to torture every typical teenager she encounters). The reader soon learns that Emer is destined to live the lives of one hundred dogs before returning to this world in human form, as Saffron. The Dust of 100 Dogs, by A.S. King, follows the lives of cynical Saffron and (initially) naive Emer in alternating chapters interspersed with anecdotes about what can be learned from living as a dog. The result is a highly original and entertaining YA novel that should appeal to fans of fantasy, historical fiction and more typical young adult “problem” fiction.
In January, 2011, A.S. King was awarded a Printz honor for her most recent novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz. - Nick (Downtown)