I am eternally grateful... for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.
-- Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - ), Timequake, 1997

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Elementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readers
5 stars

The Green Dog

AR: 5.3
Lexile: 960
RC: 6.4
by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Normal-length Novel
Genre: Realistic Funny Fiction

The summer before Suzanne enters fifth grade, a black and tan dog shows up on her doorstep. She has dreamed about this dog for a long time. She is a bit of a tom-boy and she needs a friend. This dog, whom she names Jeff, becomes her friend, but not without strings attached. When he gets into/causes trouble at the house, Suzanne's father threatens to "send him to the farm!" Will Jeff be able to tame his wildness and stay with Suzanne?

     Here's an example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I got this book from a classroom book order catalog because it looked cute and was by an author who had won a Newberry Honor. I could not get into it. Maybe it was just me. Other reviewers liked it more than I did. The author wrote from the first-person perspective and a couple times I did laugh out loud, but I was not sucked in to the story. I felt like the writing had no personality. When she told me how sad she was I did not feel how sad she was. I am disappointed especially because this book is supposed to be autobiographical (it's subtitled "A mostly true story"). I don't want to say "don't read it". Obviously, some people have enjoyed it and you might, also. I would recommend it to dog-lovers. Let me know if you like it.

(Last modified:08/23/2007)


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