Dog Town by Luize Pastore

Dog Town

Written by Luize Pastore
Illustrated by Reinis Pētersons

9+ readers   7+ readers   Books for Boys   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: quirky and unusual adventure with traces of myth and magic

Riga is the setting for this fairy-tale like adventure, and the city is depicted so clearly that it’s almost a character in the story. Jacob lives with his father and, often lonely, distracts himself by drawing maps of the city and dreaming about its myths, especially the one that says when the city is finally complete, all building work finished, its river will rise up and flood the streets. When he’s sent across town to stay with his uncle and cousin, he finds himself caught up in a battle against developers with – of all things – a pack of talking dogs at his side. The real world and magic mix in a story that will wriggle its way into children’s imaginations and stay there for a long time. ~ Andrea Reece

A Piece of Passion from Firefly publisher Penny Thomas; ‘We are so delighted to be publishing this wonderful story based on an intriguing local myth....There are many fantastic children’s stories from around the world to be translated into English and enrich our literature, and Firefly is very proud to play a part in this by publishing Dog Town. The English publication has been made possible by the support of the Latvian Writers Union and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and we are enormously grateful to them and to Neputns for this opportunity.’

Author Lu?ze Pastore said: ‘It is very exciting to have my book appear on the English book world map along with all the wonderful titles of Firefly Press. It is going to be a significant adventure for the Latvian and Russian speaking dogs of Riga to travel all the way to the hearts of children across our borders.’


Dog Town by Luize Pastore

Jacob Bird lives in Riga with his father. Jacob loves maps like his dad, and is fascinated by the legend which warns that no one must say `Riga is ready' or the river will flood the town, tall ships will sail down the main street, and the city will have to start all over again. One day Jacob mutters the fateful words. But all that happens is he is sent to live for the summer with his grumpy cousin Mimi and Uncle Eagle, because his dad is too busy to look after him.

But strange things are afoot in the run-down Maskatchaka district of Riga, where Jacob now has to live. Evil Skylar Scraper's scheme to transform it into a concrete jungle is being fought tooth and paw by the stray dogs, lead by their fierce commander Boss, his mate Bianca and their twin puppies. Jacob is astonished when Boss starts to talk to him, but hurt when Mimi doesn't want him to join their fight against Skylar. Then Bianca goes missing and Jacob's maps may be the only thing that can bring her home and save the talking dogs of Maskatchka.

Originally published in Latvian as Maska?kas st?sts (A Tale of the Maskachka District) in 2013, this heart-warming novel tells the story of Jacob Bird, who is fighting to save a run-down but characterful area of his hometown of Riga from developers, with the help of the district’s very own gang of talking dogs.

The book won The Annual Latvian Literature Prize for The Best Children’s Book 2014, and was included in a Latvian Children’s Jury list. Latvian National Radio has created a radio play version, and it is also currently being made into an animation film.

Translated from the Latvian by Žanete V?vere Pasqualini.


'Dog Town is a charming middle-grade adventure, full of plot surprises, wisdom and quirky humour – it’s Pastore’s debut in English, and I hope there’ll be a lot more to come.' Daniel Hahn

About the Author

Luize Pastore

Luīze Pastore lives in the Latvian countryside and teaches creative writing workshops for children. As well as the prizes for Dog Town, Luīze has also received several awards for her Art Detectives series: The White Ravens 2016, Pastariņš Prize 2017, International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize in Children’s Literature and Book Art 2015, Latvian Children’s Jury Award 2016 and The Annual Latvian Literature Prize for The Best Children’s Book 2016. Find out more about Luīze here.

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Book Info


200 pages


Luize Pastore
More books by Luize Pastore

Author's Website


Firefly Press Ltd

Publication date

12th April 2018




Publisher Profile

Firefly Press Ltd is an imprint of Firefly Press Ltd

logo Firefly Press is a new children's and YA publisher based in Wales that publishes quality fiction for 5-19 years olds.

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