Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for DEAD DOGS


Welcome to Yes, This Will Be On the Test.
Waving to visitors, new followers, and fellow A to Z participants. I’m sending virtual hugs to you all for taking a moment to stop by.

I’ll be sharing my “take-aways.” All those snigglets, golden nuggets, and lessons learned from other creative sources.

Yes, you read that right - 
Dead Dogs

Spoiler alert: if you haven't read the books below - this post constitutes a four legged mortality zone.

I've been teaching in the 5th and 6th grade trenches for over a decade and deceased canines are a reoccurring theme in our grade level kid lit.

You've all heard of -


Grab the tissue - right? I checked to see if my dog was foaming at the mouth for months after I read the book.

Just when I thought it was safe to get attached to my pooch, here comes -


Double dog death here. 

My first experience with "Red Fern" was reading it aloud to my class before I'd read it myself. I did some serious "booger crying" when I hit the sad part of that one.

Really - must we subject the kids to offing man's best friend even if the books are beautifully written? So says grade level core literature lists and excerpts appearing in reading texts. 
I guess such a theme falls under the "life lesson" category.

Just when I'd vowed to NEVER read a book involving dogs of any kind to my class again, along came redemption - 


Gordon Korman is my hero! Wallace Wallace the MC in this book challenges the rampant doggie disasters in the classics. It's a hilarious read and did wonders to bring my students back from the brink of serious DDD - dog death depression.

TAKE AWAY - 
Blast an accepted theme to smithereens. I'd love to see Pollyanna or Anne of Green Gables start spewing gloom and doom. Twist a trope and see where it takes you.

Was there a book you read in grammar school that bummed you out?



18 comments:

  1. Hey, I remember reading The Anne Of Green Gables series... a very, very, very long time ago...
    Those dog tales look like fun...

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  2. Old Yeller is certainly up there for bumming out!

    Charlotte's Web made me cry then. It makes me cry now. I love that book.

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    1. Me, too! All the dog books kept me emotional all during grade school

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  3. Yes! Someone who understands the depths of DDD! Great post, Leslie!

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  4. oh how sad, DDD is awful, I must get my hands on 'No More Dead Dogs'...scarred for life I tell you, scarred for life...

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  5. You just had to make the child in me cry a little. :)

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  6. You should probably also scratch The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time from the class reading list. Maybe.

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  7. Hahahahaha! Yes. I HATE books that make you cry. Seriously. Bridge to Tarabithia was the worst. Ug. I get that authors want to help kids understand how to deal with tough situations, but SERIOUSLY, life will get them. Books don't need to.

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  8. My third grade teacher was cagey; she only read things that made us laugh and that didn't make her cry. Mr. Popper's Penguins comes to mind. Is that an oldie, or what? I can't write about animals dying without sobbing. Reading about that tears me up. Stop! No more dead dogs, please.

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  9. I don't remember what books made me cry. I can remember crying but the titles elude me. I think I must have blocked them out of my mind. :D Old Yeller makes me cry now, as does Where the Redfern Grows.

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  10. We watched Where the Red Fern Grows when I was in grade two or three in school. It crushed me. Crushed. I haven't been able to read the book or re-watch the movie since. Did I mention crushed?

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  11. Oh, have you read Marley and Me? Sheesh. I'm a big dog lover and these stories rip my heart out. Glad you found No More Dead Dogs!

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  12. I totally did a double take when I read your post title! But you're so right; there are too many books about dead did! When I read Red Fern I think I sobbed for days...

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  13. I read Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller when I was younger and both made me ball my eyes out. Now, as a 5th grade teacher, I love No More Dead Dogs- because I have so many students who can relate to it. I have had students say to me, "Why is there so much death in books all of a sudden?" They seem to notice that books written for them have more death than the books they read in 3rd and 4th grade. Great post!
    ~Stephanie

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  14. I just went to Costco and bought us the jumbo pack of Puff's kleenex to share. Thanks for all the doggy tears.

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  15. Great post! I am a former 5th and 6th grade teacher. One of my highlights was being able to read to my students.
    The Yearling. Why do the animals always have to die?!

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  16. No More Dead Dogs was phenomenal....I had just been required to read Where the Red Fern grows and was crying so hard...and then I found this book. I'm all for books that take those reoccurring themes and flip them on their heads! I don't want to be able to guess how it will end based on the cover or the characters mentioned.

    New follower via GFC! I found your little introduction very welcoming and I can't wait to read more!

    Michelle @ In Media Res

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