The Next-Door Dogs

Overview

Putting a fear to rest

Sara Barker is afraid of dogs. Whenever she sees even a picture of one, she feels clammy and cold all over. So what's Sara to do when she learns that her new next-door neighbor owns two of them? Two young and big dogs, to be specific. Her neighbor turns out to be an ebullient older woman who befriends Sara and promises her dogs will keep their distance. But one day a situation arises in which Sara is forced to venture ...

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Overview

Putting a fear to rest

Sara Barker is afraid of dogs. Whenever she sees even a picture of one, she feels clammy and cold all over. So what's Sara to do when she learns that her new next-door neighbor owns two of them? Two young and big dogs, to be specific. Her neighbor turns out to be an ebullient older woman who befriends Sara and promises her dogs will keep their distance. But one day a situation arises in which Sara is forced to venture into the yard next door, even as the dogs there are desperately barking.

Kids will relate to Sara, and dog-lovers will enjoy seeing her overcome her fears in this easy-to-read chapter book, with numerous cheerful pictures.

 

The Next-Door Dogs is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Although terrified of dogs, nine-year-old Sara forces herself to face a labrador retriever and a dalmatian when she must help her next-door neighbor, who has fallen and broken her leg.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Sara Barker is frightened by dogs, with good reason. When visiting a great aunt at the age of four, Sara was bowled over by a large friendly dog who jumped on her and licked her face. Sara was too young to see this as a friendly overture, and can only remember the sight of the "gigantic mouth, pointy teeth and humongous paws." Her family knows she is afraid of dogs, but Sara wants to hide her fear from her friends and neighbors. When she sees a dog, she invents a diversion for herself and her friends. This works until the day her neighbor, Ms. Harrington, falls in her back yard and Sara must jump the fence to help her, in spite of the two dogs that live in Ms. Harrington's back yard. Overcoming her fear long enough to help her neighbor, Sara discovers that she is no longer afraid. Developing interesting characters in a predictable plot, Rodowsky has written an engaging book for young readers. The pictures, charcoal drawings with bold outlines, complement the text, showing the many faces of Sara Barker. 2005, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Ages 8 to 12.
—Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-When she was four years old, Sara was jumped on by her great-great-aunt's dog, and she has been afraid of canines ever since. Now she has a new neighbor, Ms. Harrington, who has two dogs. This is scary for the nine year old, but she and the woman still become friends. When she hears a great deal of barking and a yell for help coming from Ms. Harrington's house one day, Sara musters the courage to rescue her neighbor, who has fallen and broken her leg. Any children with fears of their own will relate to Sara and root for her in this difficult situation. Transitional readers will enjoy this tight, compact story with a fully realized protagonist and a subtle message. Occasional full-page sketches and spot art appear throughout.-Jennifer Cogan, formerly at Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Nine-year-old Sara Barker isn't afraid of anything...well, anything but dogs. Even a picture of a dog can leave her sweaty and panicked. Ever since Aunt Lillibet's dog Fred knocked over Sara when she was four years old, she has not been able to feel comfortable around canines. Whether it was their pointy teeth or hot dog breath, there was just something terrifying about dogs. Her parents have tried everything, from bringing her cute little puppies to visiting slow, gentle dogs, but nothing helps Sara. She can't spend the night with her friends who have dogs and, now, to make everything worse, her new next-door neighbor has one too. But when the new neighbor's dogs bark a frantic warning, Sara is the only one who can save the day. Rodowsky spins another captivating real-life tale for the youngest reader. Frequent, lively illustrations punctuate this heartwarming tale of overcoming fears, becoming independent and facing personal challenges. Good for Sara and good for her fans. (Fiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374364106
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/10/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Colby Rodowsky is the author of many books, including Not My Dog, an ALA Notable Book. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Amy June Bates is also the illustrator of Speak to Me (And I Will Listen between the Lines) by Karen English. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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