Have you already read The Fault in Our Stars and need another tear jerker? Look no further – this is it. I started Laika in a coffee shop but I had to leave when the water works started. I finished the book in private where no one would judge me crying over a graphic novel about a dog. It was…an awkward moment.
You’ve been warned.
Before humans went into space, before chimps, there was Laika – the first living creature to go into orbit around the Earth. Laika went up in Sputnik II; a rushed second satellite launched by the Soviets in 1957.
Laika was a loveable and loyal terrier mix who ended up going from home to home, even being a homeless stray, before getting caught by the dog catcher and given to the Soviet space program for experimentation. Through all of it she was an upbeat dog, even loving the scientists who put her through such experiences like being in the centrifuge at 4 G’s or strapping her into special dog space harnesses. Those who worked with her came to love her so dearly, and author Abadzis really conveys the pain of the scientists who knew what they were doing – sending the dog on a one way trip into space.
Abadzis not only shows us what the stressed out and overworked Soviet scientists went through, but also lets us see the world through Laika’s eyes. We see her confusion, her love, and in the end her pain. This is story is not sugar coated – and it will break your heart. Even if the story of Laika is familiar to you, this is a recommended read.
Formats Available: Book
Reviewed by Lynette, Highlands-Shelby Park Branch