Monday, June 29, 2015

MMGM- Dogs

22238177Cameron, W. Bruce. Ellie's Story (A Dog's Purpose Novel)
April 14th 2015 by Starscape
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Ellie is excited to be adopted by Jakob, and loves to have her ears scratched and cuddle up to the gruff man, who seems to prefer "work". Ellie understands that this is important, so practices "finding" people. She eventually gets good at it and has to locate a woman who has run away from a nursing home. Ellie also finds missing children and others, delighting in Jakob's company, until he is wounded while finding a child who has been abducted. Ellie is then taken in by Maya, who was a beat cop but is out of shape for working in a canine unit. She is also having a tenuous romance with the man next door, and is trying really hard to keep Ellie active and happy. Eventually, the two go to an earthquake zone to rescue survivors, and Ellie's abilities are compromised. The two do school visits, and reconnect with Jakob years after he worked with Ellie.
Strengths: Good descriptions of what a search and rescue dog's training entails, and interesting jobs that Ellie has to do. Dog books are quite popular with my students, and the cover alone will sell this one.
Weaknesses: The voice of the dog got fairly annoying, especially when Ellie is the ring bearer in Maya's wedding. Just not my favorite thing to read-- I'd prefer it in third person rather than first. I am a bit curious about the adult version of the novel. (A Dog's Purpose?)
What I really think: Falls on the "commercial schlock" side of some line for me, but kids will probably read it. And it also made me want to train my dog to read to children so she doesn't feel valueless and lonely during the day...

6556424Sutherland, Tui. Mud-Puddle Poodle (Pet Trouble #3)
July 1st 2009 by Scholastic Paperbacks
E Book checked out from Ohio E Book Project

Rosie wants everything to be pink and delightful in her world... which is hard, since she has three older, galumphing brothers. When the family decides to get a dog, the boys all want larger dogs, but Rosie points out that poodles are hypoallergenic and smart, and finally gets her way. When Button arrives, however, she is a feisty little thing who would rather dig in the dirt than wear the precious pink collars that Rosie wants her to wear. The more Button doesn't adhere to Rosie's expectations of her, the more interested in her the boys get, and the madder Rosie gets! Button has a lot of energy, and Rosie finally is taught how to harness that energy, and also learns that putting clothes on puppies isn't a great idea!
Strengths: This packed a lot of good stuff in a small book. Rosie's family is Hispanic, but that isn't dwelt upon. The family dynamic is a lot of fun, and the older brother finding out that girls like cute, fluffy dogs was a charming scene. I liked that Rosie's expectations weren't met, but she found a way to make the most of her dog.
Weaknesses: Only available in E Book format. Drat. This would go over well with my struggling readers, and had a lot of good information. I would love to have the whole series!

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. Nonfiction Monday also 


  1. Two dog books! Pet Trouble sounds cute. I hope it becomes available in print. I enjoy ebooks, but they do have their limitations.

  2. Kiddos do love a good dog story, don't they. I haven't had a dog in over 10 years. I miss how excited he would get when I would come home.

  3. I've been reading lots of animal narrated books lately. It's tricky to do well. Thanks for the heads up in these two. I know we carry Ellie's Story in the bookstore. Too bad the one with the Hispanic family isn't available in print.

  4. Aw, a doggie week!! The Bruce Cameron books are enjoyable for my students. I really liked A Dog's Purpose.

  5. Pet Trouble sounds like a lot of fun. I'm not a big fan of animal books, but the family dynamics sound intriguing. I can see both of these appealing to this age group.

  6. I'm not too excited about dog books, but the second one does sound worth a look, Karen. Thanks!

  7. I NEED these books right now. ASAP. I've always loved dogs and have always wanted one, but unfortunately, I'm allergic so all the fun kinda goes out the window. I'll still always have a huge love for dogs, but :-(...Thanks for the books, they might be the closest I get to dogs. :-)


  8. I read A Dog's Purpose because so many of my readers (and their parents) recommended it. I am not much of a dog person (allergies do me in when I am around furry things for any length of time) but I admit to crying my eyes out while reading it. I know that Ellie's Story will be popular. I've already got readers asking me for more of the Pet Trouble series. Such a shame it isn't in paper copy - and written by Tui Sutherland too. My readers are gaga over the Dragonet series.

  9. I don't care for dog stories...but there are always one or two student every year who can't get enough of them. Thanks for sharing these!

  10. I had a student a couple of years ago that would only read dog books--I wish I could share these with her :)

    Happy reading this week!

  11. I have quite a few students who love dog books. I think both covers would sell themselves to my students! Hopefully Pet Trouble will be available in print soon!

  12. Oooh! Dog books! :) Have you read Margarita Engle's Mountain Dog - sounds like a book that would be perfect for this text-set.