Molly's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales Series)

Molly's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales Series)

by W. Bruce Cameron
Molly's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales Series)

Molly's Story (A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales Series)

by W. Bruce Cameron


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Meet Molly—a very special dog with a very important purpose—featured in A Dog's Journey, soon to be a major motion picture! Young readers will love this story in the popular A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales series by bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron.

Molly knows that her purpose is to take care of her girl, C.J., but it won’t be easy. Neglected by her mother, Gloria, who won’t allow her to have a dog, C.J. is going through some tough times. Molly’s job is to stay hidden in C.J.’s room, cuddle up to her at night, and protect her from bad people. And no matter what Gloria does to separate them, nothing will keep Molly away from the girl that she loves.

Adorable black-and-white illustrations by Richard Cowdrey bring Molly and her world to life. Also includes a discussion and activity guide that will help promote family and classroom discussions about Molly’s Story and the insights it provides about humankind’s best friends.

More Tales from Bruce Cameron!

Ellie's Story / Bailey's Story / Molly's Story / Max's Story / Lily's Story / Shelby's Story / Toby's Story / Bella's Story / Cooper's Story / Lacey's Story

Lily to the Rescue / Lily to the Rescue: Two Little Piggies / Lily to the Rescue: The Not-So-Stinky Skunk / Lily to the Rescue: Dog Dog Goose / Lily to the Rescue: Lost Little Leopard / Lily to the Rescue: The Misfit Donkey / Lily to the Rescue: Foxes in a Fix / Lily to the Rescue: The Three Bears

A Dog's Purpose / A Dog's Journey / A Dog's Promise

A Dog's Way Home / A Dog's Courage

Love, Clancy: Diary of a Good Dog
A Dog's Perfect Christmas
The Dogs of Christmas
The Dog Master
Emory's Gift

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man / Repo Madness / The Midnight Dog of the Repo Man

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765394941
Publisher: Tor Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Series: A Puppy Tale
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 62,383
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

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.

Molly reacts to the strong salty taste in ham, and is sickened by eating old food. Dogs benefit from healthy, appropriate diets just like people. Imagine you have a small, part-Poodle pup such as Molly, or another dog of your choosing. Visit the food section of a pet store, talk to a veterinarian, or do online research to create an ideal meal plan for this pet. (Hint: Visit What are some best-food choices? How often should this pet be fed? What would be some healthy treats? What human foods might be especially dangerous to this dog and how can they be kept securely away? Invite your child to share what s/he is learned with other young pet owners or dog fans.

Molly’s Story is narrated in first person by Molly, the Poodle mix. 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 an experience in the life of a younger sibling, parent, grandparent, or friend.

Molly is a lucky dog to have been fostered in a welcoming home and found her way to CJ’s heart. Many strays and unwanted pets are not so lucky. Help your child find ways to help these unlucky animals, such as donating to a pet food drive, volunteering at a local shelter, or designing a poster to raise awareness about this problem. Brainstorm poster titles (e.g., “FOSTER OUR FURRY FRIENDS” or “CAN YOU HELP A STRAY DOG?”) and information, such as a phone number or web address for a local pet shelter. Organize your art materials, such as poster paper, paint, markers, colored pencils, and/or images found online or cut from magazines. Create your poster. Visit a nearby supermarket, pet hospital, or library with your child and encourage him/her to ask if they have a good spot to hang their 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.

Molly’s Story is narrated by Molly the dog, but other characters’ viewpoints are also critical to understanding this story. Have students write a 2-3 paragraph, first-person account of the day Molly met “her girl,” the truant officer’s visit in Chapter 5, the art class, or CJ’s nights spent at friends’ houses in Chapter 14 from the viewpoint of CJ, Gloria, Trent, Sheryl, or another character.

Communities and Relationships:
Through their work, both Sheryl and Andi interact with CJ without being able to completely address her difficult home situation. Using details from the novel, write a short report describing Sheryl’s art classroom or Andi’s research space. Explain the goals of their programs, and the people they hope to help. Read your reports aloud to friends or classmates. Discuss the ways each program was helpful to CJ. What did CJ and Molly learn? What similar, good qualities do the programs share? Are there programs in your own community that might have been helpful to CJ? How might a young person help a troubled friend or classmate find a helpful class or other resource?

Text Type:
Opinion Piece.
Both Molly and CJ are “strays” in different ways. Write a one-page essay exploring the meaning of the word “stray” and the ways in which this story might be read as two strays’ journeys of beating the odds together.

Text Type:
Narrative. In the character of CJ, write the story of how Molly helped you learn more about true friendship and how this helped your friendship with Trent grow. Or, in the character of Shane, write the story of why you stole from Sheryl, why you got so angry with CJ, and, maybe, why you are jealous of CJ.

Research & Present:
Although Molly is a great help to CJ, the girl and her dog find themselves in several risky home situations during the story. Go to the library or online to learn more about how pets lose their home situations and how this can be prevented. (Hint: Visit Use this research to create two checklists, one entitled “Are You Ready to Adopt a Pet?” and one entitled “Can You Help Save an Animal from Homelessness?” Have students make copies of their checklists to share with people in their community. If desired, offer copies of the list to be made available at your local library, animal shelter, or pet hospital.

Research & Present:
Molly’s actions help Sheryl detect her cancer early, making her treatment more effective. Visit the websites listed at the back of the book to learn more about dogs that may be able to detect diseases or predict seizures, horses that may help with psychotherapies, or cats that may help autistic kids. Have small groups of students create oral presentations about their findings. If possible, have students give their presentations to others in their grade or school.

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.

Titles in the A Dog’s Purpose Puppy Tales series explore the ways canines partner with and support human beings. What roles do dogs play in your life, and in the lives of your family, friends, and community members? List any other books or articles you have read, or any television programs or movies you have watched, about dogs helping humans. What abilities do dogs have that make them especially helpful to humans?

Molly’s Story
begins in the home of a woman who fosters stray animals. What ways might a dog become a stray, or find itself in an animal shelter? What might be some situations in which it is not the best plan for a family to adopt a pet? What are some issues a family might discuss before making the commitment to adopt a pet?

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.

Molly’s Story is narrated by Molly, the dog, herself. How does the dog’s perspective impact the objects described and the way human discussions are understood?

In Chapter 1, Jennifer uses the phrase “foster failure.” What does this mean? What other insights does Jennifer have about dogs and people?

How does Molly feel when she first sees CJ? Does CJ have permission to adopt Molly? What actions does CJ take when she brings Molly home?

Who is Gloria? What does Gloria do that makes her seem like an imperfect parent? Several times in the story, Gloria tells CJ that her behavior is “embarrassing.” Is it, in fact, CJ who is behaving poorly in these situations? If you were Gloria’s child, how do you think you would feel?

Why does a truant officer come to CJ’s home in Chapter 5? How does the truant officer’s visit change CJ’s daily life? How does it change Molly’s life?

Who is Shane? How does CJ meet Shane? How does Shane get CJ into trouble in Chapter 9? What advice might you have given CJ about trusting Shane? What reasons can you imagine for Shane’s behavior and choices?

In Chapter 10, as part of her community service, CJ meets a researcher named Andi. What does CJ do for Andi? What does CJ learn about Andi’s research? What does Molly learn? Compare the way Molly learns Andi’s lesson with the way she learns to stay quiet in CJ’s basement earlier in the story.

What difficult events in Chapters 11 and 12 make having her picture selected for an art exhibit a less-than-happy occasion for CJ? How do these events involve Gloria, Gus, and Sheryl?

What mean trick does Gloria play in Chapter 13? How does CJ find Molly and figure out what Gloria has done? What does CJ feel forced to do after she brings Molly home? How do CJ and Molly survive for the next few days?

At the end of Chapter 15, Andi tells CJ, “You can’t run away from your problems. They’ll always find you.” Do you think this is good advice? How does CJ react to Andi’s words?

How does Sheryl help save the day at the end of Chapter 16? What good news does she give CJ in Chapter 17? Where does Sheryl spot CJ’s painting? How might this be a hopeful sign for CJ’s relationship with Gloria? What agreement does Sheryl help CJ and Gloria make with each other?

Through her family troubles, and inspired by her love for Molly, CJ discovers an artistic talent. In what ways might this surprise discovery help CJ over time? Do you have an artistic or athletic outlet, such as drawing, singing, dancing, playing soccer, or running, that helps you work through strong emotions? Do you think it is important to have such an outlet? Why or why not?

Although Molly often tries to protect CJ, could it be that CJ’s desire to protect her dog helps her learn to care for herself? Why or why not? Cite examples from the story in your answer.

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

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