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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Module 7: No More Dead Dogs

Module 7: Realistic Fiction


No More Dead Dogs
Author: Gordon Korman

Book Summary:
No More Dead Dogs focuses on a middle school football player named Wallace Wallace. Wallace doesn’t ever lie, so when writing a review of the book “Old Shep, My Pal,” he admits that he does not like it because of the predictability of the dog dying in the end. His English teacher is not satisfied, so he gives Wallace detention until he can write something more “serious.” The teacher is also the director of the school play which is based on “Old Shep, My Pal,” so as part of Wallace’s detention he must miss football practice and attend play rehearsals. Wallace soon finds himself giving the actors suggestions for their roles, and realizes that perhaps the drama nerds aren’t such nerds after all. The football team loses games and someone is out to sabotage the play, but throughout the journey Wallace learns about true friendship and standing up for what you believe in.  
APA Book Reference:
Korman, G. (200). No more dead dogs. New York, NY: Scholastic     Inc. 

I liked the concept of this book; it’s based on the fact that in many “great” novels that include a dog, the dog usually dies. The book starts with Wallace Wallace stating that he knew the ending of the book from the very line based simply on that fact. I also liked that it was written in different perspectives: Wallace Wallace, Rachel Turner, Trudi Davis, and Mr. Fogelman. It also used different devices such as letters from Rachel to Julia Roberts and misinformed newspaper articles.
There was a lot of story crammed into this 180 page book, but the story didn’t feel rushed. No More Dead Dogs is a great example of realistic fiction for middle schoolers.

Professional Review:
Peters, J. (2001). No more dead dogs. Booklist, 98(3), 319. Retrieved from: http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA79548265&v=2.1&u=txshracd2679&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w&asid=d0e066f168151b4c9e4fa80828a15a3d

“Gr. 5-7. Here's one for every reader weary of being assigned novels in which the dog dies. For expressing his true views of Old Shep, My Pal, eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace earns a detention that takes him off the team and plunks him down in the auditorium, where his almost equally stubborn English teacher is directing a theatrical version of--you guessed it. To the delight of some cast members, but the loud outrage of Drama Club President, Rachel Turner, Wallace Wallace makes a few suggestions to punch up the production; by the end, it's a rock musical and the (stuffed) pooch actually pulls through. At least, that's the plan. Briskly stirring in complications and snappy dialog, Korman adds mystery to the fun with an unknown saboteur, caps the wildly popular play with an explosive (literally) climax, and finishes with Rachel and Wallace Wallace finally realizing that they were made for each other. Except for Old Shep, everyone, even the teacher, comes out a winner.”

Library Uses:
This book would be great in a book talk. It could be paired with other books where perhaps the dog does die, and then No More Dead Dogs could be introduced as satire on that fact.
It could also be used to present the lesson that popularity isn’t important; people should do what makes them happy.

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