New York City Public Library Books for Teens, 2003 Recommended List
A girl's best friend!
Erin Morris had the perfect summer planned. She would volunteer at the ASPCA, and prove she's old enough to own a dog. But then her dad loses his job and everthing changes. Despite her plans Erin finds herself shipped off to her grandmother's for the summer.
Erin's upset, but her grandmother is fun, and it'll be great to see her friend Cassie again. Best of all Erin will get to spend time with Grandma's black Lab, Lavender Blue. When her grandmother asks her to train him for the dog show, Erin is overjoyed. What a great way to show her parents that's she ready for a dog of her own.
Then of course, Erin relizes that she'll be the one showing Blue. How can she possibly perform in front of all those people--they might make fun of her hairy legs or her mousy hair. Her friend Cassie suggests a "reinvention," and, after surviving a depilatory disaster, and a horrible henna incident, Erin's just as ready for the ring as Blue.
Life seems almost perfect when she and Blue take first prize at the show, but then a terrible accident teaches Erin the most important lesson of her summer. It doesn't matter how she looks, or what other people think--for Erin, true friendship and love hold A Taste of Perfection.