The Sand Dog

Since Grandfather left, Azi has been watching the sea and waiting for him to come home. Without him, life on their small Mediterranean island can never be the same, and Azi can’t understand why he doesn’t come back. He becomes convinced the sea is sending him signs – a turtle looking for sanctuary, a blue door swept in on the crest of a wave, and a passport dropped by a tourist. But most of all, a sandy-coloured dog who is a little bit lost, a little bit lonely – just like Azi himself.

Trying to find the dog’s home gives Azi the perfect opportunity to look for Grandfather, with the help of Beth, who’s staying on the island with her family. But in the search, Azi realises that the secrets behind Grandfather’s disappearance lie closer to home.

Sarah Lean’s beautiful, lyrical writing is the kind you can get lost in. The world of Azi’s island is vividly brought to life, and the difficult theme of alcoholism is handled with a gentle touch. A poignant look at identity and belonging, as Azi goes in search of one thing, but instead finds the truth about who he really is.