ISBN 059033946X - Summers aren't the usual vacation for Skip, whose family runs a boarding house in a small oceanside town. Every June, his family packs up and moves out, living in a small bungalow, while visitors take over their home. If he resented them before, this year is the worst yet. His father has left them and his older brother is in the service; that leaves just Skip and his mother to do all the work, for guests who seem to him to take advantage.
Lonely and trying to understand what's happened to his family and the life they'd shared, he meets a new friend at the beach - a golden retriever that he names Swimmer. He can't bring Swimmer home, because his mother doesn't allow pets in the house, so he takes care of Swimmer secretly by hiding him in an abandoned house. This works out fine, until one morning when Skip wakes up to discover they're tearing that house down around his dog!
This is a nice book, worth reading for the kids - especially those whose parents aren't together. And all kids will look at their own chore list a little differently when they see all the work Skip has to do to help keep the boarding house going.
elementary school level about a boy & a dog