Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
This is the kind of simple story about ordinary happy families that I read in bulk as a child. (I remember reading this particular story, in fact.) Rachel and Jerry are brother and sister, living with their mom and dad in a quiet little town. Jerry wants a dog, but he knows it is nearly impossible for him to earn the dollar he needs in time to buy the dog. Lo and behold, an opportunity to earn money avails itself to Jerry and, before he knows it, he is the proud owner of Ginger, a brilliantly clever dog. But, alas, others learn of Ginger’s brilliance. Ginger disappears.
The rest of the book is devoted to searching for Ginger. And that’s the whole book. No family turmoil. No dysfunctional people. Everyone in the story seems, well, focused and kind and happy and…gosh, nice. Was Estes deluding herself? Were families really like this? Are most families like this now? One can always hope.