"My Name is Buddy. I am a dog. I am also a detective." Buddy is in the school library and kids are taking turns reading with him. While Buddy listens to a ghost story, he hears rustling in the shelves behind him. He turns to look, but doesn't see anyone back there. He hears a book fall. Something smells strange. Not human…not canine, not like anything Buddy has ever smelled before. Could it maybe be the school ghost Buddy has heard so much about? When the child he's sitting with leaves, Buddy goes over to the shelves to investigate…and comes face to face with a mysterious creature that has a long, blue tongue. Buddy fans will cheer as their favorite dog detective solves another case with own great doggy style.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
What Is THAT?
My name is Buddy. I'm a therapy dog. That means I get to go to school with Mom and Connor every day. I lie down on a pillow in Mom's office, or here in the library, and people come and pet me all day long. I LOVE being a therapy dog. It's a very important job!
I'm not just a therapy dog, though. I'm also a detective. A detective is someone who solves mysteries.
There are a lot of mysteries to solve around a school. Right now I'm working on a case I call: The Case of the Four Lakes Elementary School Ghost.
I don't know if there's really a ghost at this school. I don't even know if I believe in ghosts.
Connor believes in ghosts. Connor is my human. He says a girl named Agatha went to school here a long time ago. She got burned in a fire and now her ghost haunts the school.
Here are some reasons I think there could be a ghost here:
* I've seen doors close all by themselves.
* I've felt cold air ripple through my fur.
* And just eleventy-two days ago (or maybe yesterday) I heard strange noises under the floor in the library. Like a ghost was trying to get out!
But all of that could have been caused by:
* The wind
* My imagination
I've never seen or smelled a ghost before.
Some of Connor's friends say they've seen Agatha. But they weren't telling the truth when they said it. A dog always knows when a human is telling the truth and when a human is lying.
Cat with No Name says he's seen Agatha, too. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if a cat is telling the truth.
But my friend Jazzy also says she's seen the ghost. Jazzy is a dog. Dogs don't lie. If Jazzy says she saw a ghost, then she probably saw a ghost.
Except ... I'm still not sure I believe in ghosts.
"Mrs. Christie?" a small voice cuts through my thoughts. "I don't think Buddy is listening."
The voice belongs to a girl who smells like orange juice, toast, peanut butter, and dog. I think Mrs. Warner said the girl's name was Jemma. Mrs. Warner is the alpha human at the library. Mrs. Christie is next in command.
"He's listening," Mrs. Christie says. "Just because he's not sitting up doesn't mean he's not listening."
Mrs. Christie is right.
But so is Jemma. I wasn't listening. I was thinking about ghosts.
I'm supposed to listen when kids come to the library to read to me.
It's another one of my jobs at this school.
Mom and Mrs. Warner and Mrs. Christie all say it's good for kids to read to dogs. Especially if those kids aren't good readers. They say kids who read to dogs:
* Feel more relaxed when they read
* Enjoy reading more
* Become better readers
* Are more willing to read out loud in class
* Start doing better in other subjects, too
I feel very good about myself when I hear humans say that.
But there's something Mom, Mrs. Warner, and Mrs. Christie don't know about me:
* I don't know how to read!
When kids read to me, I don't know if they're getting all the words right. So I just listen. And look at the pictures. Sometimes the pictures tell me if the words are right.
Jemma reads, "empty yellow buses cross the town."
Hmm. I think those are yellow buses in that picture. Some colors are hard for me to see. The buses look empty. Unless there are ghosts inside them? And the buses look like they're crossing the town. I think Jemma read those words right.
"You're so smart!" I tell Jemma, licking her cheek. Mmm. Peanut butter! I LOVE peanut butter. It's my favorite food!
Jemma giggles. "Don't lick me!" She wipes her cheek with her arm, then points to the book in her lap. "Just listen to the story."
"Okay." I rest my chin on her knee.
I like this book. It's all about school buses and what interesting lives they have driving around town, going this way, going that way. It would be fun to be a school bus, I think.
All of a sudden, I hear a strange rustling sound. It's coming from those bookshelves over there.
I raise my head and watch as a book on the bottom shelf slowly slides out of place. Then the book next to it slides out, too. Those books are moving all by themselves.
Maybe there really is a ghost in this school?
Sniff ... sniff ... sniff. There's a strange smell coming from those shelves. Something I've never smelled before. Is this what ghosts smell like?
"Okay, Jemma," Mrs. Christie says to the girl who's reading to me. "It's time to go back to your class."
"Awww," Jemma groans. "Can't I stay a little longer? I'm almost done with my book."
"I'm sorry," Mrs. Christie says. "We have a special visitor coming this morning, so we need to stop."
"Who's the special visitor?" Jemma asks.
"Bob, the Reptile Guy," Mrs. Christie replies. "He'll be here any minute, so I have to help Mrs. Warner set up for his visit. And Buddy needs to go back to Mrs. Keene's office."
Yes, but before I go back to the office, I need to find out if there's a ghost hiding in those bookshelves.
Jemma closes her book. "Can I do a trick with Buddy before I go?"
"A quick one," Mrs. Christie says. "Why don't you give him a high five."
I lift my paw and high-five Jemma. Then I yank my leash out of Mrs. Christie's grip and hightail it over to the bookshelves, my leash dragging behind me.
Sniff ... sniff ... sniff ...
Whatever is over there, it's on the bottom shelf. Behind all those books.
I paw at the books until they drop to the floor and WHOA! That's not a ghost hiding in there. It's a MONSTER. A strange, creepy-looking monster!
For a monster, he's not very big. In fact, he's way smaller than I am. And he doesn't have any fur. He has short, stubby legs with fingers and toes, scaly skin, and a long, skinny, BLUE tongue! I've never met anyone with a tongue like that before.
"Who are you?" I ask, sniffing him. "What are you? Where did you come from?"
He stares at me with round little eyes. Man, he smells strange! Sort of like sand ... and lettuce ... but something else, too.
I notice an open window at the end of the aisle. "Did you crawl in through the window?" I ask.
The monster scurries back behind the books.
"Hey!" I say. More books fall to the floor. "I'm talking to you!"
But that monster is FAST! I climb over the books and stick my head under the shelf so I can see him. He's climbing up the inside of the shelves!
"Where are you going?" I ask him. "You can't hide in our bookshelves. Mrs. Warner wouldn't like it."
I hear footsteps behind me. "What are you barking at, Buddy?" Mrs. Christie asks.
More footsteps. And another voice: "WHAT ARE ALL THOSE BOOKS DOING ON THE FLOOR?"
Uh-oh. That's Mrs. Argus. She's a teacher here. For some reason, she doesn't like me very much.
"I keep telling Mrs. Keene that dogs don't belong in school." Mrs. Argus scowls at the books that are scattered around my feet.
Two or five kids peer around her. I can tell they think I'm a Bad Dog.
"It's not what you think," I tell them. "There's a monster hiding in the bookshelves!"
Mrs. Christie smiles. "I wonder if Buddy's found our mouse," she says.
"Mouse!" Mrs. Argus leaps back. I don't think she likes mice any more than she likes me.
"It's not a mouse," I say. "It's a monster. A real, live, blue-tongued monster! He's hiding behind the books. Let me try and get him to come out." I scratch at the books and a few more come tumbling down.
"Okay, okay, Buddy," Mrs. Christie says, grabbing my leash. She bends down and peers between the shelves.
"Do you see him?" I ask, wagging my tail. "Look up between the shelves! That's where he went!"
"Hello?" I hear a man's voice behind me. "Do you ladies work here?"
I turn. Hey, who's that guy? Sniff ... sniff ... and what's inside those cases he's carrying?
Mrs. Christie stands up. "You must be Bob, the Reptile Guy," she says. "I'm Mrs. Christie."
What's a reptile guy? I wonder. I walk all around him, sniffing him up and down. I thought that monster smelled strange. This guy, and the stuff he's carrying, smells even stranger. Like sand, sticks, water, hot light bulbs, and something else. Something alive. There's something alive in both of his cases.
The man sets one of the cases on the floor and shakes Mrs. Christie's hand. "Yes, I'm Bob," he says. He offers his hand to Mrs. Argus, too, and she shakes it, but I can tell she doesn't want to.
"We're so happy to have you here," Mrs. Christie says. "Let me introduce you to Mrs. Warner and she can show you where to set up." She leads me and the reptile guy back to the story time area.
"Uh ... what about the monster?" I ask. We don't want a strange monster running around loose in the library, do we?
Of course, I also want to know what's inside those cases. They smell so ... interesting!
I sniff the case on the floor. I hear a soft "sssss" sound inside. What is that?
Sniff ... sniff ... Is there a snake in that case? I've smelled snakes before, but I've never actually met one. They always slither away before I can meet them. I hope I can meet this one!
"I have quite a bit more to carry in," Bob says. "Why don't I go get everything else out of my van and then you can introduce me to Mrs. Warner."
Mrs. Warner is talking to a group of kids over by the computers, but she hurries over before Bob can leave.
"I'm Mrs. Warner," she says, holding out her hand. "You must be Bob. Thank you for coming today."
Bob shakes her hand. "My pleasure," he says.
"Mrs. Christie, would you help Mrs. Argus's class find some books?" Mrs. Warner asks. "I'll take Bob to the office to meet Mrs. Keene." She turns to Bob. "While we're there, we'll page Mr. Poe. He can help you bring your things in."
"Okay," Bob nods.
"Do you want to take Buddy to the office with you?" Mrs. Christie asks.
"Sure." Mrs. Warner reaches for my leash.
I groan. I don't want to go back to the office. I want to meet the snake. I want to meet whoever's inside the other case. And I still have to find the monster that's hiding in the bookshelves. I don't think Mrs. Warner even knows there's a monster loose in her library.
"Come on, Buddy," Mrs. Warner says. "No pulling on the leash."
"But ... but," I say. But it's no use. Mrs. Warner and the reptile guy walk me to the office.
Whoever Heard of a Blue-Tongued Skink?
I sit on my pillow and watch long lines of kids troop past the office. I smell excitement in the air. Those kids must be going someplace fun.
"Stay here, Buddy," Mom says from her desk. "Lie back down on your pillow."
I sigh and lie down. I bet those kids are going to the library. I bet they're going to meet Bob, the Reptile Guy, his snake, and whatever else he brought. Maybe they'll even see the monster.
I hate that there are interesting things going on in this school without me.
If I listen hard, I can hear kids laughing and clapping and oohing and aahing in the distance. I wish I knew what they were laughing and clapping and oohing and aahing about.
After ten or twenty hours, Mom stands up. She grabs my leash.
Oh, boy! I wag my tail. We're going somewhere!
"Ellie?" Mom says to the lady in the main office outside Mom's office. "I'm going to the library. I'dlike to catch the end of the reptile presentation."
Oh, boy! The library! I'll get to meet that snake after all.
"Okay," Ellie says. "Do you want to leave Buddy here with me while you go?"
"You don't mind?" Mom asks.
"Not at all," Ellie replies. "Buddy and I are good friends. Would you like a treat, Buddy?"
Treat? I swivel around so I'm facing Ellie. She tosses me a liver treat and I catch it in my mouth. I LOVE liver treats. They're my favorite food! "Would you like another one?" Ellie reaches into her jar of treats and tosses me another liver treat.
"You bet!" I catch that one in my mouth, too.
"That's all for now," Ellie says, closing up the jar.
"Okay." I turn back to Mom. "Can I please go to the library with you?"
But Mom is already gone.
"So, how was the presentation?" I ask Mom when she comes back a hundred years later. "What did you see? What did you do? Did you meet the snake? Did you see the monster?"
Mom doesn't answer any of my questions. She takes me back to her office and sits down at her desk.
I think she has work to do.
"It's okay," I tell her. "We can talk later."
I turn one, seven, four circles on my pillow and plop down. Work time for Mom means nap time for me. But just as I'm getting settled, the light on the ceiling flickers.
Mom and I both raise our eyes. The light flickers again.
"Are the lights flickering out there?" Mom asks Ellie.
"No," Ellie says. "Are they flickering in your office?"
"Yes," Mom says. "Maybe the bulb is loose." She drags a wooden chair under the light, climbs up, and tightens the bulb.
"Hopefully that'll take care of it," Mom says. Then she goes back to work and I go back to my nap.
After school, Connor stops into the office. His friend Michael is with him. Michael is my friend Mouse's new human. They live on our street.
"Hi, Connor! Hi, Michael!" I say, sniffing them all over. "I'm happy to see you! I'm happy to smell you!" They both smell like ... Bob, the Reptile Guy!
"Hi, Buddy," Connor says, scratching my ears. Michael pats my back.
"Mom, can I go over to Michael's house?" Connor asks.
"For a little while," Mom says. And then she says my favorite words: "Do you want to take Buddy with you?"
Please, please, PLEASE say you want to take Buddy with you! I tell Connor with my tail.
"Sure," Connor says. "Buddy likes Michael's dog."
Oh, happy day! I get to go with Connor and Michael. I get to go to Michael's house. I get to visit Mouse.
On the way to Michael's house, Connor and Michael talk about all the animals Bob, the Reptile Guy brought to school. Snakes, tortoises, iguanas, and lizards.
"Which one was your favorite?" Michael asks Connor as we cross a street.
"I liked the bearded dragon. He was cool," Connor says.
"Yeah," Michael agrees. "But I think I liked the lizard with the horns better. I've never seen a lizard like that before."
Connor snorts. "Did you meet Toby Bower before he moved?"
"Is he that kid in Mrs. Adler's class who brought three lizards to school last week?" Michael asks.
"Yeah," Connor says. "He had some of the weirdest lizards I've ever seen. And he had to give them away because his mom said he couldn't take them when they moved. I wonder if he found people to take them all."
Michael shrugs. "I wanted to take them, but Mrs. Larson wouldn't let me. She said I already have a lizard." He rolls his eyes. "Like a person can only have one lizard."
Michael is what humans call a "foster kid." That means he lives with the Larsons, but he's not really their kid.
"Can I see your lizard?" Connor asks.
"Sure," Michael says.
"I want to see your lizard, too," I say. I've never met a lizard before.
But when we get to Michael's house, Michael and Connor put me in the backyard with Mouse and close the gate.
"HI, BUDDY!" Mouse says, bounding over to me.
"Hi," I say. I let Mouse sniff me as I paw at the fence. "Hey, Connor! Can Mouse and I come in and see Michael's lizard, too?"
Connor doesn't pay any attention. He and Michael go in the house and close the door behind them.
My tail droops.
I shouldn't be surprised. Mouse is an outdoor dog. He hardly ever gets to go inside.
"WHY DO YOU WANT TO SEE MICHAEL'S LIZARD?" Mouse asks. He doesn't mean to yell. He's just so big that when he talks, it sounds like yelling.
"Because I've never seen one before," I say.
"IT ISN'T VERY INTERESTING," Mouse says. "AND IT DOESN'T DO MUCH. I DON'T THINK IT CAN EVEN TALK."
"Does it, by any chance, have a blue tongue?" I ask.
"A BLUE TONGUE? I DON'T THINK SO. WHY WOULD YOU ASK THAT?"
I tell Mouse all about the monster in the library.
"STRANGE," Mouse says. "AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MONSTER IS OR WHERE IT CAME FROM?"
"No," I say.
"You dogs are so dumb," says a smug voice in the tree.
I look up. It's Cat with No Name. I don't like it when Cat shows up in the middle of my conversations with Mouse. I really don't like it when he calls me dumb.
"There are only about four or five animals in the whole world that have blue tongues," Cat says as he licks his paw. He doesn't tell us what any of those animals are. I think he wants us to ask so he can talk about how dumb we are some more.
"Don't ask," I tell Mouse with my eyes.
He nods at me.
I clench my teeth together. Don't ask ... don't ask, I tell myself.
But I can't stop myself. "Okay, what animals have blue tongues?" I say really fast. I hate that I said it at all.
Cat jumps to the next branch. "Giraffes and polar bears have bluish-black tongues," he says.
"It wasn't a giraffe or a polar bear," I say.
"WHAT OTHER ANIMAL HAS A BLUE TONGUE?" Mouse asks.
"There are dogs that have blue tongues," Cat says.
He must be talking about Chows. Or Shar Peis. Those dogs have dark tongues. "The Monster I saw was definitely not a dog," I say. "And his tongue was bluer than a Chow's tongue. Or a Shar Pei's tongue. It was bright blue."
"Then it must be a blue-tongued lizard or skink," Cat says. "There are actually six different species of them. They live in Australia."
"IS THIS AUSTRALIA?" Mouse asks.
"No," Cat says, rolling his eyes. "It's Minnesota. I can't stand to be around such dumb dogs." He leaps to the ground, then slips through a hole in the fence.
Mouse and I look at each other.
"I've never heard of a blue-tongued skink," I say.
Excerpted from "The Buddy Files: The Case of the Library Monster"
Copyright © 2011 Dori Hillestad Butler.
Excerpted by permission of Albert Whitman & Company.
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.
Table of Contents
1. What Is THAT?,
3. Whoever Heard of a Blue-Tongued Skink?,
4. I Smell a Monster!,
5. The Secret Door,
7. Locked In,
8. What Did Maya Do?,
9. Before It's Too Late,
10. Questions and Answers,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Amazing and misterious.
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Library Monster by Dori Hillestad Butler One of Buddy's jobs as a therapy dog is to read books with the kids in the school library. One day he hears a noise in the bookshelves. He tries to get closer and comes face to face wtih a creature that has a blue tongue! What is it? And how did it get in the school? This is the 5th book in The Buddy Files series. I have not read the other books, yet. I checked this one out because it's a library mystery. What I liked about this book: I like the way the book is told from Buddy's point of view, but he's not a talking dog. He doesn't speak human. Being a big mystery fan, I like that Buddy is "on the case" trying to solve a mystery. Readers get to share Buddy's thought process as he tries to solve the mystery. It is very similar to KWL (what we Know, what we Want to know, and what we Learned). Buddy is a very likable character. Young readers will take to him instantly. This is a great series for students who like mysteries, dogs and enjoy stories in a school setting. What I didn't like about the book: I loved the whole book, but I could feel Buddy's frustration as he tried to communicate with the adults. It was very frustrating that they kept ignoring his attempts to tell them something. I think the author meant for the reader to feel that frustration. I really enjoyed this book and have already requested from the public library the other four books in the series. I have also added it to my wish list for the Endeavour library. Recommended for 1st grade and 2nd grades as a classroom read a-loud, and for independent reading for 3rd grade and up. AR Level: 3.1 Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5!
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Library Monster by Dori Hillestad ButlerOne of Buddy's jobs as a therapy dog is to read books with the kids in the school library. One day he hears a noise in the bookshelves. He tries to get closer and comes face to face wtih a creature that has a blue tongue! What is it? And how did it get in the school? This is the 5th book in The Buddy Files series. I have not read the other books, yet. I checked this one out because it's a library mystery.What I liked about this book: I like the way the book is told from Buddy's point of view, but he's not a talking dog. He doesn't speak human. Being a big mystery fan, I like that Buddy is "on the case" trying to solve a mystery. Readers get to share Buddy's thought process as he tries to solve the mystery. It is very similar to KWL (what we Know, what we Want to know, and what we Learned). Buddy is a very likable character. Young readers will take to him instantly. This is a great series for students who like mysteries, dogs and enjoy stories in a school setting.What I didn't like about the book: I loved the whole book, but I could feel Buddy's frustration as he tried to communicate with the adults. It was very frustrating that they kept ignoring his attempts to tell them something. I think the author meant for the reader to feel that frustration.I really enjoyed this book and have already requested from the public library the other four books in the series. I have also added it to my wish list for the Endeavour library.Recommended for 1st grade and 2nd grades as a classroom read a-loud, and for independent reading for 3rd grade and up.AR Level: 3.1Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5!
I bought the sixth book in this series for my 8 yr old grandson, who is Special Ed. I loved how the dog tells the story. After reading the sixth book, I ordered the first five so he would have the set. Reading is difficult for him, and sometimes a chapter book can be a little scary for a Special Ed student. I know he will read this series. It flows nicely, and is quite funny at times. Truly an enjoyable series for young readers.
Cool and mysterious
If you want $100 look in the garbage.
It seems B&N should ensure delivery. Of the 4 books I ordered, only 1 has shown up. Prior to this, I would have said B&N was one of the better websites for book purchases. No longer.