What You Need to Know:
• This well-written story is about a boy and a girl who don't meet until the end of the book; both children
love animals, and are dealing with some family issues.
• While some of the topics that are addressed in the story are quite serious, they are touched upon in a delicate and
• Although never mentioned by name, the subject of divorce is an issue for the main character.
• Wendy Orr is also the author of the very special Mokie and Bik Go to Sea.
• The narrative flips back and forth between two characters, Hannah and Logan, so readers must keep track of
their separate stories for much of the book.
• Lost! A Dog Called Bear is the first in the Rainbow Street Shelter books. According to the author, there are expected
to be six books in total.
|Sweet Book Summary:
Moving from a farm to the big city can be difficult enough but watching your dad head off in another direction at the same time, can be a true challenge. That's just what happens to Logan, and if that's not bad enough, he loses his best four-legged friend, Bear, along the way! Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Logan, a little girl named Hannah, who would give anything for a dog of her own, discovers Bear in the back of her dad’s pick up truck. Of course, she has no idea that he’s Bear and decides to call him Surprise. Her parents won’t allow her to have a pet so they take Surprise to the Rainbow Street Shelter and hope that his owners will find him. Readers follow Logan and Hannah’s parallel stories as Logan searches for Bear, and Hannah gets to know Surprise and the other animals at the shelter. In the end, they both find what they're looking for and even some added bonuses, like a new friend.
The subjects covered, including moving, divorce, the loss of a pet, and simply being denied something you desperately want, are life challenges that many kids face these days, but they may also be upsetting to some readers. Assuming they’re comfortable with those subjects, the minimal detail, brief chapters and straightforward language, make this book an excellent choice for kids just beginning to read a chapter book on their own. Although we don’t get a lot of background information on the characters, like how old they are or where they live, we do get a good insight into how they’re feeling. For example, Ms. Orr writes about Logan, “He felt as if an invisible monster had chewed a ragged black hole inside him where his happiness used to live.” We even get to hear the dog’s perspectives, further emphasizing the strong bond between the owners and their pets. The serene, black and white illustrations are reminiscent of a simpler time and nicely compliment this heartfelt story.
|Author: Wendy Orr Illustrator: Susan Boase Published: 2011, 112 pages
Themes: Animals, Divorce, Family Life, Feelings, Friendship, Moving
|Sweet Discussion Questions:
• Why is Bear so important to Logan?
• Were you surprised by the way that Hannah and Logan met?
• How would you feel if you had to move to a new place?
• Why doesn’t Hannah’s mom want her to have a dog?
• Would you like to work at an animal shelter?
• What’s your favorite kind of pet? Why?
• Would you have made the same decision as Hannah did about the guinea pig? Why or why not?
|This recommendation was written by: Melissa G.
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