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Little Dog, Lost

by Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell

Published by Atheneum, 2012
208 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4424-3423-3

Ages 7-10

The little dog Buddy had a boy once. They “were perfectly matched and perfectly happy together.” Then the boy’s family had to move to an apartment in the city, and Buddy couldn’t come. She gets a new home in a new town with a woman who means well but doesn’t know how to love a dog. When Buddy digs a hole in her yard and climbs under the fence, she doesn’t mean to run away, she just can’t find her way back. In that same town is a boy named Mark, who has always wanted a dog. Mark’s mother, the town’s mayor, has always said no. Also in that town is Charles Larue, a man who is very shy and very lonely in the mansion he inherited from a woman he took care of for years. All the kids avoid the mansion because, well, Charles Larue lives there, and he never talks to anyone. “No one knows a single true thing about him,” so everyone (but the mayor, who doesn’t gossip) makes things up. There’s never any doubt that Marion Dane Bauer’s tale of a little lost dog and a dog-loving boy and a kindhearted man, all of whom need one another without even knowing it, is going to end happily. But the journey to that happy ending is pure delight, from its cast of primary and supporting characters (including a cat named Fido) to the surprising but perfect insights into characters and town alike, to the narrative’s rhythm and language in this novel in verse perfect for reading aloud. (MS) ©2012 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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