Review: Husky by Justin Sayre

Husky by Justin Sayre

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: All ages
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Family, Friendship, LGBT


A unique and original voice, Husky is an expertly narrated story of change, told by a boy whose emotions are as big as the operas he adores and whose capacity for love and friendship is as warm and delicious as freshly baked bread.

Davis lives with his mother and grandmother in a brownstone in Brooklyn. He’s a regular kid who loves watching people at the park, visiting his mom in the bakery she owns, listening to the biggest operas he can find, and spending time with his friends. The only problem is he’s going into high school, where everyone gets one adjective that defines them—and his adjective is “husky,” which we all know is a polite way of saying “fat.” To make matters worse, this summer everything seems to be changing in Davis’s life and it’s not only his clothes that don’t seem to fit anymore. His best girlfriends are starting to hang out with the wretched new girl, Chloe who is too cool for anything and seems to be pulling his friends away from him. His mom has started dating Paolo, who works at the bakery and whose efforts at friendship Davis finds simply annoying. Though Davis usually copes with his problems by listening to his favorite operas, not even the biggest arias seem to drown out the sadness, anger, and frustration he’s facing in his own life. The near operatic drama of “ohhhhhs” and “ahhhhhs” reaches a gut-wrenching climax and Davis is forced to learn some of life’s most important lessons from his grandmother and the world around him about love, acceptance, and change.


3.5 stars. I think that everyone wants a kid like Davis. He doesn’t cause trouble, he does what he’s told and he would do everything and anything for the people he loves. Plus, he makes me think of a Teddy Bear ❤

Twelve-year-old Davis aka Docks aka Husky is about to start high school and he’s conscious about a lot of things. He wants some answers about himself and some changes, too. Every friend he has posses an adjective to represent them, and Davis isn’t happy about his: husky. He’s not fat, let alone obese, just… husky. But he wants his adjective to change.

I can see why, now that I’ve finished the story, the adjective is so important to Davis. I really can. But I don’t understand why the story happens before his starting high school since, after reading the letter from the publisher inside my advance reader’s copy, I had as impression that high school would be the main setting. I guess I was wrong. Regardless, I didn’t mind the different settings I got instead at all.

Davis is at a point in his life when he feels like he’s alone; that no one understands him and that he’s without a solid place in the world. His best friend Sophie spends more time with this other girl instead of him, and his mom is ready to let the ghost of his father go and move on… but Davis isn’t happy about that. He likes how things are between them, just her, Nanny and him.

I’ll admit, Davis does appear as a jealous and selfish kid by the way I’ve described the drama and his feelings toward it. But it’s not like that, exactly. He’s just afraid that, by putting him aside, people he loves will eventually forget about him and let his spirit fade into nothingness. If he were really jealous and selfish, I wouldn’t have liked him as much as I ended up doing. Reading his thoughts was wonderful because they’re wonderful and so, so honest, pure.

Every character feels so alive. There’s nothing dull about this book. There’s not one scene that will put you to sleep. Sure, it’s not super original, super fast or super complex, but it reads so well and the emotions are so true and deep that you’ll find yourself simply lost in Davis’ mind. You’ll understand him and will undeniably follow him around with great enthusiasm. I loved that kid.

If you’re in seek of a meaningful middle grade story with spirit and a set of charming characters, look no more, for you’ve found what you were looking for!

7 thoughts on “Review: Husky by Justin Sayre

  1. I haven’t read Middle Grade in soooo long, and this seems like the perfect one to start with. I just love reading from the male perspective, especially one that’s so open and honest as Davis’s so I’m definitely adding this to my TBR!


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