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Lad, A Dog facts for kids

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Lad: A Dog
Lad A Dog (1919, touched up).jpg
Original dust jacket
Author Albert Payson Terhune
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult fiction
Published May 1919 (E. P. Dutton)
Pages 349 pp (first edition)
OCLC 234286
Followed by Further Adventures of Lad 

Lad: A Dog is a 1919 American novel written by Albert Payson Terhune and published by E. P. Dutton. Composed of twelve short stories first published in magazines, the novel is based on the life of Terhune's real-life Rough Collie, Lad. Born in 1902, the real-life Lad was an unregistered collie of unknown lineage originally owned by Terhune's father. Lad's death in 1918 was mourned by many of the story's fans, particularly children.

Through the stories of Lad's adventures, Terhune expresses his views on parenting, obtaining perfect obedience without force and the nature and rights of the "well-bred". Terhune began writing the stories in 1915 at the suggestion of his Red Book Magazine editor. They gained in popularity and, as Terhune was under contractual obligation to submit something to Doubleday-Page, he collected them into novel form. After Doubleday rejected the novel, he solicited other publishers until it was picked up by Dutton. After a slow start, the novel became a best seller in the adult fiction and children's fiction markets, having been repositioned as a young adult novel by Grosset and Dunlap in the 1960s and 1970s. Selling over one million copies, it is Terhune's best-selling work and the one that propelled him to fame. It has been reprinted over 70 times by Dutton and republished by a variety of publishers since its original release, including at least six international translations.

Contemporaneous critics praised Terhune's writing style and the overall story appeal, while dog breeders criticized his unrealistic canine characters. In retrospective reviews, critics considered that the novel had aged badly and that Terhune displayed little actual writing skill, but noted that the novel was able to hold long-lasting appeal as it triggered the reader's desire to have such an ideal dog. Terhune himself considered the novel "hack writing" and did not understand why it was so popular. Because of its reception, he went on to publish two additional novels featuring Lad and one featuring Lad's son, Wolf, as well as many other fictional stories featuring dogs. Warner Brothers released a in June 1962. A series of four children's picture books based on three of the stories from the novel were published by Margo Lundell between 1997 and 1998.

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