When five year old Mishka finds himself lost and alone in the streets of Moscow it seems as though all hope is lost - especially when he can't find the beautiful read coat his mother always wore - but he seems to be safe in the care of the street children who call one of the train stations home. But it is just an illusion as they are all interested in protecting themselves, in staying alive, they have no real interest in a small child who is too young to be living on the streets by himself. It seems as though death is only a short time away, until Mishka discovers the dogs that roam the streets begging and stealing just like the street children.
When Mishka strikes up a friendship with a dog he calls Lucky, he has no idea that he is making the connection that will help him survive his first winter on the streets. Lucky is part of a pack of street dogs, a pack with a strong leader that accepts Mishka grudgingly into the pack. Working together, Mishka and the dogs may just find enough food for them all to make it through a harsh Moscow winter - even if they have to steal food to make ends meet. As the world around them changes, Mishka and the dogs must adapt to survive, and they must always stay one step ahead of the people who believe that all street children should be rounded up and shipped off to an orphanage for their own protection.
A powerful and gripping novel based on the true story of a child from Russia, one that will have you laughing, longing, and grieving along with Mishka and his pack. An unforgettable story.
~ Reviewed by Elspeth Sweetman