Bailey's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tale Series)

Bailey's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tale Series)

by W. Bruce Cameron
Bailey's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tale Series)

Bailey's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tale Series)

by W. Bruce Cameron


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Now in paperback! Bailey's Story is an irresistible illustrated novel for young readers inspired by the New York Times bestselling A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Every dog has work to do. Every dog has a purpose.

When Bailey meets eight-year-old Ethan, he quickly figures out his purpose: to play with the boy, to explore the Farm during summers with the boy, and to tidy the boy's dishes by licking them clean (only when Mom isn't watching). But Bailey soon learns that life isn't always so simple—that sometimes bad things happen—and that there can be no greater purpose than to protect the boy he loves.

Bailey's Story is a moving tale about a dog and his boy for young animal lovers by W. Bruce Cameron, bestselling author of the acclaimed novel A Dog's Purpose. Adorable black-and-white illustrations by Richard Cowdrey bring Bailey and his world to life. A discussion and activity guide at the end of the book will help promote family and classroom discussions about Bailey's Story and the insights it provides about humankind's best friends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765388414
Publisher: Tor Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Series: A Puppy Tale
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 72,827
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

W. BRUCE CAMERON is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey, A Dog’s Way Home (all now major motion pictures), The Dog Master, Ellie's Story, Molly’s Story, Max’s Story, Shelby’s Story, The Dogs of Christmas, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, and others. He lives in California.

Reading Group Guide

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Take the story from the page to the pavement with these fun and inspiring activities for the dog lovers in your family.

GOLDEN RETRIEVERS. Go to the library or online to learn more about this popular dog breed. (Hint: Visit Make a list of things Bailey does in the course of the story that show he has the key qualities of a Golden Retriever. If desired, try this activity with your own pet’s breed, or do this research for a breed of dog you are considering owning as a pet someday.

DOG PROOFING. Bailey sometimes gets into trouble by chewing shoes, eating garbage, or entering/exiting places he should not. Take a walk through your home or yard. Bring a notepad and note the things you would have to “Bailey proof” if he were your pet. Are your doors well secured? Where do you keep your kitchen garbage? Do you have other pets, such as cats, that might help Bailey get into trouble? What easily-found shoes, plastic toys, or other items might be big temptations for Bailey if he were home alone? After your exploration, discuss what you learned about your home from exploring it from this viewpoint. Does it cause you to make any home or yard changes for the pets in your life?

A DOG COMMUNITY. Bailey finds furry friends in his neighborhood. Are your neighbors, nearby relatives, or friends also animal fans? Celebrate your canine community with a “playdate” in your neighborhood or at a local dog park. Make invitations for adults, kids, and dogs to come to your event. Prepare human and animal-friendly snacks. Plan activities such as relay-races or make-a-safe-pet-toy crafts. Be creative! Have fun! Celebrate the joy of family pets!

PET CHAT. Bailey’s Story is narrated in first person by Bailey, the Golden Retriever. This helps readers understand the dog’s point-of-view and is also a model for helping children see other people’s and animals’ perspectives. Invite your child to describe, using “I,” a few minutes in the life of his or her own pet. If desired, invite your child to describe, using “I,” an experience in the life of a younger sibling, parent, grandparent, or friend.

HELP OUT. Bailey is a lucky dog to have been rescued and adopted by Ethan’s family. Your child can help more unhappy dogs find safe, happy homes by designing an awareness-raising poster. Brainstorm poster titles (e.g., “DON’T SHOP AT PUPPY MILLS,” “ADOPT A SHELTER PET,” or “BE KIND TO DOGS”). Consider using paint, markers, colored pencils, photographs, or other images found online or cut from magazines. Once your decisions are made, make your poster. Visit a nearby supermarket, veterinarian, or library with your child and encourage him/her to ask if they have a good spot to hang your poster. Take a photo of your child beside their mounted poster to share with friends and family!

WRITING activities
These Common Core–aligned writing activities may be used in conjunction with the discussion questions in the “Family” section above.

Bailey’s Story is narrated by Bailey, the Golden Retriever. To make this feel realistic, the author relies heavily on sensory descriptions, especially scents, sounds, and tastes. Have students imagine “hero dog” Bailey is visiting their school with Ethan. Write 2-3 paragraphs from Bailey’s viewpoint including his experience of arriving at the school entrance, meeting various students and teachers, and the view from the front of the auditorium or a classroom as Ethan tells their story.

Communities and Relationships:
Bailey enjoys joining Ethan for fun and games in the neighborhood. Using clues from the novel, write a welcome letter to families who might be new to Ethan’s neighborhood. In your letter, introduce the kids and pets in the neighborhood, and describe the kinds of fun they enjoy in different seasons. Then, write a welcome letter to families who might move to your own neighborhood, including people, pets, activities, and other interesting details. Read your letters aloud to friends or classmates. What similarities and differences do you see between Ethan’s community and your own or between the real-life neighborhoods of your classmates? What good qualities do most communities share?

Text Type:
Opinion Piece.
Write a one-page essay explaining what you think Ethan should have done to end the argument he and Todd have at the end of Chapter 17, and whether you think Ethan should feel partly responsible for Todd starting the fire. Does any argument justify putting people’s lives at risk?

Text Type:
In the character of Hannah, write the story of how Bailey helped your friendship with Ethan grow. Or, in the character of Todd, write the story of why you tried to kidnap Bailey when you were young and why Ethan makes you feel so angry.

Research & Present:
Although Bailey does not realize this, he was born in a “puppy mill” or “puppy farm,” a place focused more on breeding dogs for profit than on their health and safety. Go to the library or online to learn more about the problems with many puppy mills. (Hint: Visit or Have small groups of students create oral presentations encouraging dog lovers to avoid puppy mills, how, and why. If possible, have students give their presentations to others in their grade or school.

Research & Present:
Bailey saves the family from a terrible fire. Go online to learn more about how families can plan for a fire emergency. (Hint: Begin your research at or Create an informative booklet or informational poster sharing what you have learned. If possible, make copies of your booklet to distribute to others in your school or community.

Supports English Language Arts Common Core Writing Standards: W.3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.7; W.4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.7; W.5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.7; W.6.2, 6.3, 6.7; W.7.2, 7.3, 7.7

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Discussion Questions
Help your young reader get excited about this book by exploring key words and ideas from the story. This will help strengthen the connections children make as they begin to read.

This book is titled Bailey’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Tale. What is a “purpose”? What types of roles do dogs play in your community? What do you think is a dog’s most important role?

Have you ever had a pet? Describe how the pet came into your family and what you knew (or wondered) about your pet’s life before he arrived in your home. If you do not have a pet, what kind of pet might you like to have, why, and how might you find such an animal?

How many examples can you list of ways dogs help their human friends? Consider how your pet helps you in your home, how service dogs help people with special needs, and how dogs are part of military, police, and other service organizations. If desired, keep your list on a home bulletin board, white board, or a sheet of paper, and add to it as you read this book—and afterward!

Discussion Questions
Some or all of the questions below may help launch family or classroom conversations or be useful preparation for the activities that follow.

Bailey’s Story is narrated by Bailey, the dog, himself. Were you surprised when you realized who was telling this story? Why or why not? What sorts of things does Bailey notice that a human narrator might not notice?

How does Bailey come to “know the boy very well” (p. 13) in the early chapters of the book? If you could “speak dog” and explain things more thoroughly to Bailey, what might you try to clarify so he could better understand Ethan’s activities with his dad, his need to go to school, the “game” of “Dog Door,” and the experience of the “Dog House”?

In Chapter 6, Ethan and Bailey make a dangerous friend named Todd, who tries to keep Bailey for his own. What kind of kid is Todd? Would you call Todd a “bully”? What advice should you give Ethan about spending time with Todd? Are there reasons readers should feel bad for Todd? Explain your answers.

What is “The Farm”? Do you think you would like to spend the summer at “The Farm”? Why is “The Farm” wonderful for Bailey? For Ethan? What kinds of freedom do Ethan and Bailey have at “The Farm” that they do not have at home? What happens when summer ends?

How does Bailey behave at moments in the story when he is lonely, frustrated, or uncertain? How are his behaviors treated by Ethan and his parents? Describe a moment in your own life when you felt unsure or worried. What did you say and do? Compare and contrast your human actions to Bailey’s animal responses to similar emotions.

In Chapter 12, Ethan is left alone at “The Farm” for the first time. Describe what happens when Ethan decides to ride Flare out for a picnic. Do you think Ethan should have made this choice? Why or why not? How does Bailey help when Ethan gets into trouble? Does he understand he is helping? What would Bailey say is his most important job in life?

In Chapters 14, 15, and 16, readers experience Ethan’s high school life through Bailey’s eyes. How do Ethan’s main interests change? Does Bailey’s understanding of his job as “Ethan’s boy” change during these years? Why or why not?

What warning signs that Todd is becoming more dangerous does Bailey observe but not understand? Do you think Ethan behaves well toward Todd in these chapters and during their fight at the end of Chapter 17? Explain your answer.

How does Bailey become a hero in Chapters 18 and 19? What terrible thing happens to Ethan as these events unfold? Does your family have an emergency plan in case there is a fire or other dangerous event at your house? Describe this plan—or have the conversation today!

After the fire, Ethan’s life is dramatically changed. How does Bailey understand the changes in Ethan? What happens when Bailey and Ethan return to “The Farm” after the accident? What reunion does Bailey help make happen? How does Bailey help Ethan remember what he can still do?

After reading Bailey’s Story, how might you describe a pet dog’s most important purpose in one sentence?

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