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Dog on Barkham Street


A Dog on Barkham Street
An ALA Notable Book

Edward Frost wants a dog of his own. And he doesn't want to be bullied by big, mean Martin Hastings anymore. Neither wish seems very likely to come true, until one day wandering Uncle Josh arrives with a beautiful collie named Argess. Suddenly everything begins to change.

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A Dog on Barkham Street
An ALA Notable Book

Edward Frost wants a dog of his own. And he doesn't want to be bullied by big, mean Martin Hastings anymore. Neither wish seems very likely to come true, until one day wandering Uncle Josh arrives with a beautiful collie named Argess. Suddenly everything begins to change.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
A poignant, wise and funny story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064401609
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1985
  • Series: A Trophy Bk.
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Stolz published her first book for young people in 1950 with Ursula Nordstrom and never looked back. Since then, she has written more than sixty books, been published in nearly thirty languages, and received two Newbery Honors (for Belling the Tiger and The Noonday Friends). The Bully of Barkham Street is the sequel to A Dog on Barkham Street (also available from HarperTrophy). Ms. Stolz lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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Read an Excerpt

Edward Frost, who had his share of problems, didn't see how he'd ever solve the biggest one. This was Martin Hastings, the bully of Barkham Street. Martin was two years older than Edward, and there was no solution for this. Martin would continue to be two years older until he was a hundred and Edward was ninety-eight. Edward had a feeling that even then he might not be entirely safe.

The fact that he had only one enemy didn't help Edward much, because Martin lived next door to him. Edward lived at number 21 Barkham Street, and Martin lived at number 23. There was no solution for this, either. How could you avoid your enemy if every time you looked out a door he looked out a window and saw you?

"Why doesn't Dad get a job in Alaska, now that it's a state?" Edward asked his mother one day.

Mrs. Frost didn't look surprised at the question, but she said Edward's father couldn't very well change his job just like that. Mr. Frost was a teacher at a university in St. Louis.

"Alaska would be fun," Edward insisted, without much hope. "I'll bet there's a lot of room for teachers up there. I bet they need them badly. You'd think Dad would want to go where be was needed."

Mrs. Frost sighed. "Is it Martin Hastings again?" she said.

Edward nodded.

"What did he do this time?"

This time Martin had chased him for blocks, and then, when Edward was absolutely exhausted and fell down, Martin sat on top of him and pulled his hair and said over and over, "Uncle, say uncle ......

Martin was a big boy, and Edward not especially. It was an awful, grinding feeling to be sat on that way. And though Martin hadn't pulled bard it was terrible to have yourhair pulled at all.

Edward had held out as long as he could, and then gasped, "Uncle," and was released. He got up shakily, dusted off his trousers, and walked away with Martin's voice loud in his ears.

"Don't forget, now," Martin yelled. "Whenever I look at you and wiggle my finger, you gotta say uncle. Understand, Weird One?"

Edward kept walking, not too fast, because that might start everything all over again, but without answering or looking back. He hated being called Weird One almost as much as he hated the pounding, but there was nothing he could do about that either.

There was no point in telling his mother all this, because it didn't so much matter what Martin did or said, it was just the fact that Martin was there, big and mean and living next door. It was the fact that Edward, looking ahead, could see no way in which any of this would be changed, unless Martin moved away or dropped dead. Neither seemed likely.

"I'm going to get a crew cut," he said now.

"That's fine," said his mother.

I think IT take a course in muscle-building, too. IT write to one of those magazines about bow you get your muscles like cannonballs, and then IT poke him in the jaw and knock him out for a week and when he comes to I'll make him say uncle for a month without stopping."

"You can't do that. I mean, you can't take a strong-man course.

"Why not?"

"Because your muscles aren't developed yet."

That's exactly what I'm saying," Edward pointed out. "I'm going to--"

"No," said his mother. "What I mean is, you aren't old enough for weight lifting and all that sort of thing. You have to be--oh, well into your teens before you can do such things."

"How well into them?"

"Fourteen, anyway, I should think."

"Oh, crums," said Edward in a gloomy voice.

Fourteen seemed practically as far away as ninety-eight. Maybe he should concentrate on learning to run fast. He supposed it was cowardly to run, but the sight of Martin looming around comers like a bear always got his legs into action before he had time to think. And if he had to run, the smart thing would be to run fast enough not to get caught.

"You know," his mother was saying, "even if we did move somewhere else, it wouldn't be much help, probably. I understand there's a bully on every block. I expect even Alaskan blocks. It's what the other mothers tell me, at PTA meetings, and all."

"What do the mothers of the bullies say?"

Mrs. Frost shook her head. "I guess maybe they often don't know. Martin Hastings' mother doesn't know. Or won't believe it. Nobody can tell her anything."

"I heard Ruth Ann's mother telling her one day. Ruth Am;s mother said Martin ought to be locked in an attic until he comes of age.""Oh, but that's a dreadful thing to say.""You know what he did? Ruth Ann and some girls were making a tea party for dolls in the back yard, and Martin went in and knocked everything over, except he drank the ginger ale-that was the tea."Mrs. Frost looked unhappy. "Well, it was a bad thing to do.""Ruth Ann's mother and Mrs. Hastings yelled at each other all over the place. Didn't you hear them?""I must have been away, thank heaven. Edward, I don't know what the answer is. But I'm just glad you aren't a bully."Edward snorted. "Me? I'm the kind who runs.""What else can you do? You needn't be ashamed of running if there's nothing else to do."Dad says I should stand up to him.""How can you stand up to somebody twice your size?"

A Dog on Barkham Street. Copyright © by Mary Stolz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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