by Judy Newman with Alana Pedalino
When I last wrote about the Bobs and Tweets series on this blog, I acknowledged that it’s a series “designed to try to connect with all those kids who have trouble finding a book they can feel successful reading.”
Dean and Lou’s latest adventure—The New Dog in Town—is near and dear to me.
The Bonefish Street kids are tight-knit—even Dean Bob and Lou Tweet, whose families are polar opposites. Differences, such as being a slob like a Bob or neat like a Tweet, or even being differently abled like Dean and Lou’s new friend, Jen, never stand in the way of the community coming together.
The New Dog in Town, the fifth book in the Bobs and Tweets series, begins when Dean discovers a mysterious basket left on his front steps. Inside the basket is a note and—to Dean’s total surprise—a small dog named Jack! The kids solve the mystery of who Jack belongs to (Jen’s grandma, Fran) and why he was left (Grandma Fran wasn't allowed to bring him with her when she moved into a retirement home).
Dean Bob and Lou Tweet believe this is so unfair! So they bring the whole Bonefish Street community together (kids and grown-ups alike) to help reunite Grandma Fran with her beloved pet, Jack the dog.
The kids write a petition, make signs and hats, arrange for a police motorcade, and spread the word up and down Bonefish Street that the community is coming together to march to the retirement home to stand up and do what’s right for Jen’s grandma, Fran.
“I am glad we moved here,” says Jen. “It is so neat!
How we all work together on Bonefish Street!”
“I loved the book very much.” —Jazmine
The heart of the Bobs and Tweets series, and especially this title, is that sense of friendship, generosity of spirit, and community. There’s not a doubt in Lou’s and Dean’s minds, nor anyone else’s, that organizing to help Jen and her family is the right thing to do. Jen hasn’t even been a member of the Bonefish Street crew all that long, yet everyone is willing to pitch in and do their part.
All of this is made more special by the fact that these are kids who are trying to make a difference. Kids who are taking the proper steps…and turning those steps into strides that effect a major change in their town.
I won’t give away too much more, but I will say this: I know Pepper Springfield, the author of this book, really, really well. And Pepper let me in on a little secret: this book was inspired by all the stories she’s heard and read of real kids across the world who are standing up for what they believe in and showing up to express how much they want a better future for themselves and others.
Kids today are so capable. We at Scholastic Book Clubs just provide the tools—namely books—to help them escape with their imaginations, learn about the world around them, and build the vocabulary they need to understand others and express themselves clearly. And May and June are critical times to get the books kids want into their hands before school’s out for summer. It’s also a perfect time for kids to read with their pets—either real or imaginary—which helps them strengthen their literacy skills and confidence! And spending time with a furry friend is always a plus—David Vozar loves the sense of companionship that he gets from his dog, Yoshi:
Celebrate all that kids do with Bobs and Tweets: The New Dog in Town—check out all of the Bonefish Street–themed resources below:
• Download a free discussion guide and five printable activities from A Bonefish Street Activity Book (also available for $1) to accompany The New Dog in Town in Cooked Up from a Book.
• Inspired by Jen’s grandmother’s loyal dog, Jack, the Book Boys introduce their four-legged friends and talk about the importance of companionship.
• An incognito Pepper Springfield joins Allister, Elliott, and Max to partake in an upbeat, fast-paced rhyming challenge in Behind the Scenes.
• Second grade teacher Leana Malinowsky shares how she uses The New Dog in Town to teach story elements such as character, plot, and setting in Book Talks.
We are offering The New Dog in Town with its own companion, A Bonefish Street Activity Book, (for just $1 each) this week. You can catch a preview of it in this week’s Cooked Up from a Book post. I hope that the activity book helps the kids in your life practice the skills they learned in school this year throughout the summer, and I hope that they connect with some of the characters on Bonefish Street. And of course, it is my sincere wish that reading The New Dog in Town inspires that all-important sense of reading success!
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, fun—and book-filled—summer! Please send me any ideas you have for future Bobs and Tweets adventures. And please feel free to share any ideas or suggestions—or photos of you and your kiddos reading with pets—I read everything you send. I am always reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy reading!
These Books Are Available from Scholastic Book Clubs