Chad blames his grandfather Jeep and his older sister, Julia, for the death of his dog last fall. Now, as an empty summer yawns before him, Chad still isn't speaking to jeep, he avoids Julia, and he does his best to ignore the rest of the family, especially the new dog, Queenie. But on this quiet Vermont hillside there's no one but family, nothing to fill the long days ahead.
Then a new neighbor, David Burton, moves in down the hill. David is a shaper, a dog trainer who shapes animals' behavior using positive reinforcement. He needs an assistant, and he offers Chad the job. David also has a daughter, Louise beautiful, feisty, a dancer-who's only a year older than Chad. Suddenly Chad's life, which had seemed simple if painful, is terribly, wonderfully, confusingly complicated....
Chad uses Queenie to learn David's techniques-but who is being shaped here, Queenie, or Chad himself? And can Chad's new knowledge help him heal and find a place in his strong-willed, volatile family?
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