Sunday, May 22, 2011

Booktalk: The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes [Virginia Readers' Choice]

If you buy a pet, you must take good care of the pet. What does this include? [Gather responses: fresh food, fresh water, love, exercise, etc.]. Charlotte Hayes’s father brought home a beautiful dog: a Saint Bernard he named “Killer.” {Show cover.} Now, Killer was just not an apt name for this dog: he’s a completely gentle sweetheart who wouldn’t hurt a fly. And even though Charlotte’s dad brought this Saint Bernard home, he really wasn’t prepared to give the dog all the time and attention which the dog deserves. I’m still mad at the dad for doing this. You know a book has you hooked when you’re mad at a fictional character.

So, by default, Charlotte has been taking care of Beauregard, which is her name for the dog. She gives him water, food, and as much attention as she can – which is still not enough. It’s just not fair to Beauregard. And Charlotte is a really cool girl: she wants Beauregard to have the best possible home, with a family who is 100% committed to him. So she takes him to the animal shelter and tells them she found a lost dog, hoping a really nice family will adopt him and give him tons of love. But when she gets home from school the next day, she hears a bark. Beauregard is back. How on earth did he get there? The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes by Marlane Kennedy.

The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes by Marlane Kennedy. 233 p. Greenwillow Books, 2009. Virginia Readers’ Choice 2011-2012. Booktalk to intermediate grades and to younger middle schoolers.

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