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Dog Heaven (Calvin Coconut Series)

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Overview

What do you want so badly that you can taste it—and can you persuade someone to give it to you? That’s the subject of a writing assignment Calvin’s fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Purdy, gives the class. Calvin wants a dog! He reads what he’s written to his mom to see just how persuasive he can be. No way, Mom says: Stella, their babysitter, might be allergic, and Calvin is too irresponsible to care for a pet.

Luckily, Mom’s boyfriend, Ledward, is on Calvin’s side. He takes Calvin to ...

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Dog Heaven (Calvin Coconut Series)

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Overview

What do you want so badly that you can taste it—and can you persuade someone to give it to you? That’s the subject of a writing assignment Calvin’s fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Purdy, gives the class. Calvin wants a dog! He reads what he’s written to his mom to see just how persuasive he can be. No way, Mom says: Stella, their babysitter, might be allergic, and Calvin is too irresponsible to care for a pet.

Luckily, Mom’s boyfriend, Ledward, is on Calvin’s side. He takes Calvin to a place he calls dog heaven. There Calvin meets the dog of his dreams—Streak. Now Calvin’s got to convince Mom he’s dog-responsible, because he and Streak belong together!

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Calvin's teacher posts a writing assignment: "What I Want So Badly I Can Taste It," forcing the fourth grader to examine his heart's most pressing desire. He realizes that what he wants more than anything, a dog, comes with some major obstacles. His single mom is against the idea, which is understandable considering she is also the provider for an emotional teenager whose parents skipped town. Stella is resentful toward Calvin, and she also has allergies. Luckily Ledward, Calvin's mother's boyfriend, believes "every boy needs a dog." When he takes him to visit a dog shelter, Calvin is immediately drawn to Streak, an abandoned herding dog. Although he can't take her home without his mother's permission, he is inspired to rewrite his essay until it's so persuasive that he just knows his mom will give in. Salisbury's characterization will intrigue readers who have limited knowledge of Hawaiian culture, and the theme will pull at their heartstrings. With serious subplots dealing with divorce and abandonment, Dog Heaven teaches that life isn't always a bowl of cherries. Small black-and-white drawings appear throughout.—Christine Johanson, District Elementary School, Mahopac, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A school assignment about persuasive writing frames this appealing third offering in a series set on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Along with his classmates, Calvin is at first hesitant to write on the topic, "What I want so badly I can taste it," as assigned to them by well-liked teacher Mr. Purdy. However, when he realizes that what he really wants is a dog like the one he had when his father was still around, he finds unexpected aid in persuading his mother from Ledward, her boyfriend. A somewhat sweeter tone takes hold in this latest in the line-up, in which Calvin's relationship with Ledward deepens and the adult's role modeling helps him to understand more about his responsibilities at home. Rogers's black-and-white, shaded illustrations are again a welcome complement-in particularly, the playful, dynamic depictions of Streak, the dog on which Calvin eventually sets his sights. A healthy dose of humor, such as Ledward's pet pig that rides with him in the front seat of his jeep, will keep readers engaged. (Fiction. 7-11)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
When his teacher assigns the writing of a persuasive paragraph describing something you want so badly you can taste it, Calvin knows just what he will write about. Calvin wants a dog! His Mom is dead set against the idea because Calvin is not responsible enough to care for a pet and Stella, the teenager his Mom has taken in, is allergic to pet dander. Calvin does have an ally in mom's boyfriend Ledward. He takes Calvin to the shelter, a place he calls dog heaven, and it is there that Calvin falls hopelessly for a rambunctious pup he quickly dubs Streak. Now all he has to do is to convince Mom and Stella that he and the dog are right for each other. There is nothing like a boy-and-his-dog story to capture young readers and this one has a sympathetic hero and a loveable dog. Other issues are woven seamlessly into the plot and deal with Calvin's parents' divorce, Stella's abandonment by her mother, and two school bullies Frankie Diamond and Tito. Each is deftly handled and does not take away from the central issue. Lighter moments are to be found in Calvin' s imaginative ways to freak out Stella and Ledward's jeep-riding pet pig. Deeply rooted in Hawaiian landscape and culture, this a light, breezy read that will have Calvin fans delighted to read of his latest adventure. One small quibble is the fact that Leward sometimes speaks in broken English that seems stereotypical and unexplained. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375846021
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Series: Calvin Coconut Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 307,588
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Salisbury
Graham Salisbury is the author of two Calvin Coconut books: Trouble Magnet and The Zippy Fix, as well as several novels for older readers, including the award-winning Lord of the Deep, Blue Skin of the Sea, Under the Blood-Red Sun, Eyes of the Emperor, House of the Red Fish, and Night of the Howling Dogs. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Jacqueline Rogers has illustrated more than 90 books for young readers. She lives in Chatham, New York.
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Read an Excerpt

Calvin Coconut: Dog Heaven


By Graham Salisbury

Wendy Lamb Books

Copyright © 2010 Graham Salisbury
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385906418

1

Manly Stanley

Everyone in class held their breath as Mr. Purdy dangled a squirming cock-a-roach over the brand-new resort he'd made for Manly Stanley.

Manly Stanley was our class pet, a centipede.

A large centipede.

Rubin could hardly stand it. "Drop it, Mr. Purdy, drop it."

Manly Stanley's new home sat on Mr. Purdy's desk. It was an old, cleaned-up fish aquarium. Inside, a big craggy rock and a branch of twisty driftwood sat on a beach of white sand. There was even a marooned pirate ship for Manly to explore.

I could see him looking at me through a cannon port. "Calvin, my man," he seemed to say. "S'up?"

I'd captured Manly Stanley in my bedroom and brought him to school, and now look at him. What a setup.

"Centipedes are predators," Mr. Purdy said, looking down at Manly Stanley. "They use their claws to capture and paralyze their prey."

Yow! I hoped that cock-a-roach could run fast.

But it was hard to imagine Manly Stanley as a predator. I mean, all he did was hang out. He slept. He looked at you. He scurried into the pirate ship when he wanted some privacy.

The crowd squeezed in around Mr. Purdy.

"Move," someone said. "Let me see!"

"Look how Manly's checking out that bug."

"How come you're putting that poorlittle cock-a-roach in there, Mr. Purdy?" Shayla asked.

"Breakfast."

Shayla's mouth fell open. "Eew, sick!"

"It's what centipedes eat, Shayla. Spiders, too, and earthworms."

"Yuck."

Julio scoffed. "Not yuck, Snoop. Yum. You don't remember when you ate that worm?"

I spurted out a laugh. Julio called her Snoop right to her face. But Snoop fit, because she was nosy. And the story about her eating the worm was true, but she only ate the head. Back in kindergarten, some kid brought a soup can full of compost worms for show-and-tell. At lunch, he stuck one into her tuna sandwich when she wasn't looking. Shayla chomped it down. All us guys thought we were going to die from laughing so hard.

Shayla squinted razor-slits at Julio.

Mr. Purdy dropped the roach.

It must have sensed danger, because it sprang toward the rock. "Dang," Rubin whispered. "Look at him run."

"Okay," Mr. Purdy said. "Back to your seats. Time to get to work. Nothing's going to happen to that roach anytime soon."

"Aw, man," Julio said. "I want to see Manly eat it."

Mr. Purdy clapped his hands. "Let's go! Chop-chop!"

I plopped down at my seat in the first row by the window. Manly Stanley's resort was right in front of me.

I looked out the window, remembering a pet I once had, sort of. A dog named Chewy, a beagle who liked to shred rubber slippers. But Chewy was really my dad's dog, and when my dad moved to Las Vegas to be a famous singer, Chewy went with him.

At least now I sort of had Manly Stanley as a pet. But he couldn't shake hands like Chewy, or run down a tennis ball, or curl up by my feet at night.

Sometimes I really missed Chewy.

And my dad.


From the Hardcover edition.

Continues...

Excerpted from Calvin Coconut: Dog Heaven by Graham Salisbury Copyright © 2010 by Graham Salisbury. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Khhhihbh

    Bppbj

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    great book!

    Loved this book! But u have 2 read the first books to really get into it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Amazing

    Great

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