In second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Sass, read Wilson Rawl’s Where the Red Fern Grows out loud to us. And as the book neared its end and Old Dan and Little Ann are getting ready to die, Mrs. Sass got so emotional she had to hand the book over to her assistant, Mrs. Wantz, to finish. I have such vivid memories of this event and how sorry I felt for the dogs, their owner Billy, and my teacher. I could not believe that the author would let the dogs die and that he would make my teacher cry. Such a travesty.
No More Dead Dogs by Gordan Korman carries the same sentiment. The main character, Wallace, is tired of reading books about dead dogs. And after writing a negative book report over a book his teacher loved, he’s assigned detention until he rewrites it in a favorable light. And detention just happens to cut into football practice. While Wallace is suffering through detention, his teacher is directing the school play which just happens to be an adaptation of the book Wallace refuses to write about. Things turn comical as Wallace starts making suggestions to “improve” the play and his football buddies turn against him as he eventually quits the team to help out the play.
This book is entertaining and clever. And a little outrageous, but all good young adult books are. I think this book will go over well with my boy readers. I seem to read more “girl” books and often hear complaints from the boys. So this will be right up their alley. I don’t think they’ll find it as comical as I did, because while I see things from an adult perspective, they’ll see this as their lives and take it more seriously. But it’s a good, quick read and the title will definitely grab my students’ attention.