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.

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?


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

  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.

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

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

  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...

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

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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?

  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!

  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...

  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!

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

  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?!

  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