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The Eyes and the Impossible

20/60 | Started 03.25.24 • Finished 03.29.24 | 4 stars

I'm a Dave Eggers fan, so when I saw this middle grade novel of his had received some acclaim (just a Newbery Medal, NBD), I knew I had to give it a shot. It did not disappoint.

Unlike anything I've read really, as it's told with an animal as the narrator. The plot itself centers around a feral dog named Johannes and all the other animals that live in a park with him. There's squirrels, raccoons, ducks, turtles, and even some buffalo. Johannes is known by his job as "The Eyes" - basically the animal who keeps tabs on everything going on in the park, especially anything dangerous involving humans. Then one day he gets an idea, and though it's noble and glorious, it seems nigh impossible. Nevertheless, The Eyes and his animal friends take it on.

I'll tell you straight up that I am no fan of dogs, but Eggers captured everything there is to love about dogs and magnified those things by ten thousand. Loyalty, faithfulness, self-confidence, basic enjoyment of life itself. Some of my favorite parts of this book are when Eggers writes about how Johannes perceives his own running. Hilarious. Along the way, he comes to terms with what he truly is, discovers the joy of camaraderie, and is given the gift of true freedom.

I just handed this book to my 13 year old and he's already giggling about the ducks. Give this one a go even though it may seem weird at first. I think you'll like it.

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