"Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog"

Spring into a great book — get inspired to “Page On” by reading student reviews on some of Newsbee’s recent picks. Congrats to the young readers whose reviews appear here. As an incentive to keep reading, the Washington Optimists will present each of them with a new Book Buzz Book.

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“Found,” By Jeff Newmann.

Reviewed by Newsbee

A preview of what’s to come in “Found” is shown in an illustration of a despondent child gazing out a window. Her sadness is obvious as is the despair of a soggy dog on the next page, trudging through a puddle on a trash-strewn street. A rescue is about to happen.

Once the little girl has the wet dog in her arms, into her room they go where a framed photo of Prudence, the girl’s former dog, sits on her nightstand. A lost-dog poster across the room details Prudence’s fate.

Soon the “found” dog makes its way into the girl’s bed and heart. A deep affection between them blossoms, but like a frayed leash, the bond becomes tenuous when the girl takes her pup to the pet shop and sees a lost dog poster with a photo that looks like her new dog. Sweet, simple illustrations by Larry Day and a moral to the story make “Found” a 10-bark read.

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“Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog,” by Lisa Papp.

Reviewed by Miss Reuber’s second-grade class, St. Vincent de Paul School.

“Madeline Finn kept begging her mom for a dog. Finally, she got a little white dog that she named Star.

“She wanted all of the other dogs in the animal shelter to get cared for like her dog. She collected blankets for the dogs, but she didn’t have enough blankets for all of the dogs. Then she put up signs asking people to bring blankets and books to the animal shelter, so children could read stories to the animals in the shelter. Lots of families came to the shelter and the animals enjoyed the stories. There was a happy ending for one dog!

“We liked this story because it teaches us how to be compassionate to the animals in a shelter. Those animals need love just like our own pets.

Reviewed by Quinn Guss, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“I hope you like this book. Madeline Finn goes to the library. She reads to a puppy named Star. Then Madeline goes to the animal shelter and she gives blankets to the dogs. My favorite part is when Madeline reads to the dogs. If you like dogs you will love this book.”

Reviewed by Koby Steiger, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“You should read ‘Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog.’ Madeline went to the library to get one of Bonnie’s puppies. She picked a name and it was Star. Then a puppy came over and sat on Madeline’s lap. My favorite part was when Madeline made posters and helped the dogs at the shelter.”

Reviewed by Katelyn Klein, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“Madeline read to a dog named Bonnie and the dog had puppies and Madeline got to pick one out to read to and she got to keep it. She named it Star. I liked the part when Madeline gets to keep one of the puppies. I loved this book because I love puppies and dogs. I hope you like it too. Have a great day!”

Reviewed by Giavanna Nachita-Hughes, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“This was a great book. You should read it. It’s sad to think about those poor animals. My favorite part was when Madeline got her new puppy Star. I recommend this book to anyone who likes dogs. Thank you for listening. I hope you decide to read this boo. I liked it and hope you do too.”

Reviewed by Chloe Barnhart, fourth grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“I loved this book because I love dogs and I love the message behind this story. It made me think, ‘Do the animals in shelters really get loved?’

“This story is about a young girl named Madeline Finn. She first begged her mom for a dog. After a lot of begging she gets a puppy. She names it Star.

“Then Mrs. Dimple talks about how she volunteers at a shelter. Madeline Finn learns that puppies are a big responsibility. She learns they need food, water and a nice place to sleep, but the most important thing they need is love.

“The next day Madeline goes to the shelter. She had lots of questions like ‘Do the dogs have blankets? Do they have someone to read a book to them? And lastly, “Do they have someone to love them like Star?” She looks around and sees a dog named Chips. The next week she collected towels and blankets.

“She made posters for people to bring blankets and towels on Saturday. The next day she brought all the stuff from the neighbors. Finally it was Saturday. When she got there no one was there. So she just started reading to the first six dogs. When everyone walked in they said they were sorry—the line into the library was so long. Then everyone got a story and a blanket, besides Chips. He got a story, a blanket and a forever home.”

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“My Father’s Words,” by Patricia McLachlan.

Reviewed by Daphne Lindeman, fourth grade, Beaufort Elementary School.

“This book may be sad, but it’s very good. It’s the fictional story of a family: Fiona, who tells the story; Finn, her little brother; mother, who’s going to college; and father, psychologist — a kind of doctor.

“Fiona and Finn’s father passes away at the beginning of the book and the reader follows their journey of how they can make sense of his death. The author uses memories of Fiona’s past, including quotes from her dad, that help her remember him and know he’ll always be a part of her.

“Other important characters are Luke, the kids’ neighbor; Thomas, their dad’s previous patient; Martha, a lady at the dog rescue; and the dogs. What I liked best about the book was that it was simple to read and in a simple way it helps kids to understand that sad things happen in real life and there are ways to help deal with the pain.

“There was a really important quote that caught my eye, ‘Dona Nobis Pacem,’ which means ‘grant us peace’ in Latin. This was one of their father’s phrases that helped them. When I’m sad I usually talk to my dogs and in the book the children started talking, reading, and singing to dogs at the rescue center. By helping the dogs, they were helping themselves.”

“I give this book 4 1/2 beehives and recommend it if you have read ‘Maxi’s Secrets’ by Lynn Plourde and liked it!”