Strays by Ron Koertge
Ted is recently orphaned since his parents died in a car accident. His parents owned a pet store, and in this dysfunctional family animals came before people. Lacking many social skills -- in fact, he can talk to and hear animals better than he can communicate with people -- Ted is thrown into the foster care system. Despite the hard knocks, he comes out of his shell, makes friends with his foster brothers, and begins to turn his life around, with interesting results. This was a quick read, and I liked how completely matter-of-factly Koertge introduces the concept of communicating with animals -- this isn't any Dr. Dolittle story. It really grabbed my attention at the beginning, but by the end of the book I was feeling like it didn't really live up to its potential. A MAYBE from me.