SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Does the dog die?

Discussion started on

dianebailey

Guest

Recently I suggested my 10-year-old read "Island of the Blue Dolphins." I have an ancient copy; the picture on the front is of the girl/boy (can't even remember, that's so sad) and his/her dog. Or maybe it's a wolf. Who knows?

The point is, my son looked at it and announced "It has a dog, and it won a Newberry, which means the dog dies. I'm not reading it."

So, anyone who remembers, DOES the dog (wolf, pony, armadillo) die?
#1 - March 28, 2008, 10:39 AM

m.pritchett

Guest
That would be a yes, I'm pretty sure. :)
#2 - March 28, 2008, 10:45 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
The point is, my son looked at it and announced "It has a dog, and it won a Newberry, which means the dog dies. I'm not reading it."

 :lmao

My son has declared a moratorium on all books that meet this description.
#3 - March 28, 2008, 10:48 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region ksmo
Yep, Rontu dies.  But his son, Rontu-Aru, takes his place I believe.  It's been awhile.  Tell your son it's a great book, even if it is a bit sad.  My 7-year old and I read it and cried together.  Family time.  It doesn't get any better than that.  (He's probably damaged forever.)

How about "The Indian in the Cupboard?"  We read that one recently, and I was surprised how much I liked it.

 :hedgehog

Jody
#4 - March 28, 2008, 11:10 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

Member.
Poster Plus
LOL, LOVE it that your son is so perceptive so young. And you see he is right. I don't like books like that either, and I especially don't like it that you can figure what happens to the dog based on that criteria. I guess that is something that has been done a lot in MG books since IotBD was printed, and by now you can see them coming.
I know it's a great book, but I like great books where the dog doesn't die (or the cat, or the bunny, etc). ;)
#5 - March 28, 2008, 11:25 AM
YA reader/writer, ghostwriter, librarian.
Blueboard member since 2008

Yep! My son just finished reading this a few months back.

BeeBee
#6 - March 28, 2008, 11:34 AM

dianebailey

Guest

Well, shoot!

I told my son this was a great book no matter what, but for the moment, he's not going for it. Maybe he just needs to practice with "Shiloh" and "Where the Red Fern Grows" first...

Let this be a lesson to all of us who would kill off our animal friends in our books! (Not that my books HAVE any animals--although I was thinking of introducing a dog... who will now be immortal ... )



#7 - March 28, 2008, 11:39 AM


I told my son this was a great book no matter what, but for the moment, he's not going for it. Maybe he just needs to practice with "Shiloh" and "Where the Red Fern Grows" first...


I read WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS when I was a kid and it upset me for days.  I think the death of Rontu was easier, but of course I read it with my 4th grader.

BeeBee
#8 - March 28, 2008, 11:43 AM

m.pritchett

Guest
'Where the Red Fern Grows' had me crying for days.

And I read it when I was in sixth grade. It was so sad.
#9 - March 28, 2008, 11:44 AM

Yikes! Diane, do you remember that BOTH dogs die in WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS?

Shiloh is a great alternative, though.
#10 - March 28, 2008, 11:46 AM
Agent with D4EO Lit
Published by Penguin & Flux:
PRADA & PREJUDICE
YOU WISH
BUT I LOVE HIM
RIPPLE
IN TOO DEEP
DANGEROUS BOY

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region iowa
Have him read Dear Mr. Henshaw, a Newbery winner in which the dog does NOT die.  (A great thread topic, Newbery winners in which the dog doesn't die!)
#11 - March 28, 2008, 11:46 AM


The point is, my son looked at it and announced "It has a dog, and it won a Newberry, which means the dog dies. I'm not reading it."

So, anyone who remembers, DOES the dog (wolf, pony, armadillo) die?

I'm with your son on this one.  :applause :applause  That's hilarious.
#12 - March 28, 2008, 01:36 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wisconsin
Treat your son to Gordon Korman's NO MORE DEAD DOGS, about a boy who who gets detention over his reading assignment, "Old Shep, My Pal". It's hilarious.
#13 - March 28, 2008, 02:06 PM
http://www.whbeck.com
MALCOLM AT MIDNIGHT (HMH, 2012)
MALCOLM UNDER THE STARS (HMH, 2015)
GLOW: ANIMALS WITH THEIR OWN NIGHT-LIGHTS (HMH, 2015)

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region ksmo
B,

Sounds hilarious.  I'm off to my virtual library now...

Jody
#14 - March 28, 2008, 02:17 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

dianebailey

Guest
Yikes! Diane, do you remember that BOTH dogs die in WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS?


Oh yes, I remember. That book was one of few that have set me sobbing. I am in the middle of a book right now ("Each Little Bird that Sings") where the dog is in grave peril. I should know in a few more pages whether he makes it.

Thanks for all the other suggestions, everyone. Maybe in that LOC summary in the front of books they should have a category of "Pet Lives (or Dies)" :)
#15 - March 28, 2008, 02:50 PM

richmond8

Guest
B beat me to recommnding No More Dead Dogs, which is hilarious and perfectly appropriate for a fifth grader, boy or girl.
#16 - March 28, 2008, 03:09 PM

almarrone

Guest
I have to jump on the No More Dead Dogs bandwagon--my son and I loved it!  I also loved Island of Blue Dolphins and was devasted when the dog died. I remember trying to convince family memebers to name our new kitten after him when I was in 5th grade--we ended up just calling the cat Kitten--humph.
#17 - March 28, 2008, 06:05 PM

Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
I have a dog in my wip, and I was seriously tempted to change the first sentence to, "The dog does not die."
#18 - March 28, 2008, 06:29 PM
PAINLESS (Albert Whitman 2015)
BLOOD BROTHERS (Delacorte 2007)

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region iowa
I have a dog in my wip, and I was seriously tempted to change the first sentence to, "The dog does not die."

That would have been a useful disclaimer in Blood Brothers, too, Shirley.
#19 - March 28, 2008, 06:46 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region socal
I just finished reading Waiting for Normal and loved it.  The MC has a hamster for a pet and there were several times when I thought the hamster was dead meat, but it survived the whole book. 

When I was in 4th grade, my teacher read Island of the Blue Dolphins to us one chapter a day.  I cannot remember the MC's name, but I remember feeling so bad for her all alone on the island.  When she made friends with the dog, I could breathe again.  Their friendship touched my little 9 year old heart, and when the dog died, I sat at my desk and wept.  I wasn't the only one.  If I remember right, the dog died of old age, which I find more palatable than a beloved pet sacrificing itself for its owner.  (A bit cliche.)  Dying of old age is part of life, and Island of the Blue Dolphins is all about accepting life and doing what you have to do. 

#20 - March 28, 2008, 07:10 PM

Bish

Guest
Call of the Wild and While Fang...two books with lots of adventure and some tragedy. In Call of the Wild, it's Buck's master who dies. In White Fang (if I remember rightly) he finally finds a home.  The dogs don't die. But these book may be difficult for a 4th/5th grader. I don't know. I suppose it depends on the kid. I clearly remember reading a Classics Illustrated of Call of the Wild when I was about 10 or 11. I read the book a year or so later.
#21 - March 29, 2008, 03:20 AM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region australiawest
That's funny! I can only echo the recommendation for No More Dead Dogs, in which the mc actually says: "Go to the library and pick out a book with an award sticker and a dog on the cover. Trust me, that dog is going down."

Sounds like he and your son might be kindred spirits.
#22 - March 29, 2008, 04:11 AM

When I was a kid, I read a book called Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton. It's short stories, each with a different animal and EVERY FREAKING ONE OF THEM DIES. I'm talking a total need-a-therapist-after-this book.
The dog freezes to death (after saving the owner's life).
The bunny drowns in a freezing lake.

And I don't remember the others (I'm repressing) -- but the book made me FURIOUS as a kid. That was back when I'd read toothpaste tubes because I couldn't get enough books, so I couldn't just put the book away and not read the rest...plus, I had a morbid need to find out if everything dies. Yup. All of it.

It should have won a Newbery. :hiding
#23 - March 30, 2008, 06:19 PM
ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW HOLLYWOOD MOVIES GET MADE [Cherry Lake/2015]
GHOST LIGHT BURNING [ABDO/2015]
MONSTER HUNTERS [ABDO/2014&2016]

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
"A Day No Pigs Would Die" was tramatic here thanks to the "weasling" scene. My son looked at me and said, "I don't think want to read this book anymore."



#24 - April 01, 2008, 05:56 AM

richmond8

Guest
A Day No Pigs Would Die is a powerful book.  I can see how a kid might feel it was too hard to weather the emotions, even thought it's funny in parts.  It's also one of the most beautifully written books I ever read.  You could almost say it's a book for adults. I used to get Robert Newton Peck confused with Richard Peck. 
#25 - April 01, 2008, 01:16 PM

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region iowa
I totally agree, and the elegance of the power of the story is that it sneaks up on you unexpectedly.  You don't realize as you begin the book the depth of emotion that it will draw by the end.  This is a death themed story, and from the dog on, each death is more powerful until the ending.  This is one of the great stories, because it comes disguised as something more lighthearted than it really is.
#26 - April 01, 2008, 01:38 PM

I would be less upset with these dead dog stories if it were about some obnoxious yappy fuzzball like the one my neighbors have that wakes us up every morning, but it seems the dead dogs are always noble shepherds or coonhounds or collies or something.  When was the last time a Yorkie pushed a child out of the  path of an oncoming car?  Did a chihuahua ever drag its owner from a burning building?  How many Shi Tzus have gone one on one with a grizzly bear while the family scrambled to the safety of their station wagon?

I loved Johnny Quest when I was a kid, but I always wished just once that the monster would eat Bandit.  :tease

#27 - April 01, 2008, 11:18 PM
http://www.bryanwfields.com
LUNCHBOX AND THE ALIENS, 2006 Holt; 2009 Square Fish
FROONGA PLANET, 2008 Holt
http://froongafiles.blogspot.com

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region iowa
How many Shi Tzus have gone one on one with a grizzly bear while the family scrambled to the safety of their station wagon?

We don't require heriocs of Shi Tzus because their true calling in life is to be a daily soruce of joy to their human companions simply by laying on their feet, looking up at them lovingly with their big, beautiful eyes.  Of course the Shih Tzu would go after the bear if he was big enough, but only to make friends.
#28 - April 02, 2008, 03:59 AM

lydap

Guest
My DH is with your son. He pointed out that in the movies the great dogs always die, like in I Am Legend and American Gangster this year. He hates it. Especially because we have a great big fluffy Shiloh Shepherd. And the book about the guy who walked across Afghanistan, can't dredge the name out of my tiny brain this a.m. I wouldn't read that book after Jeff threw the book across the room when the dog died.
#29 - April 02, 2008, 05:39 AM

Liz
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region indiana
 :duel  I am in total agreement with your son!  Why does the dog always have to die?  Like watching the kid kill Old Yeller because he has rabies.   :feelbad

I got to the point where I refused to read the majority of animal stories and especially when animals talked.  I did read horse stories, but not when horses talked. 

I remember teaching third grade (way back when) and the book I read to the class was Charlotte's Web.  Even as an adult I had a hard time with the talking pig and rat and spider.  The kids loved it, but I kept wanting to say, ANIMALS DON'T TALK. 

I refused to read a book where an animal died off, most of the kids I taught had enough going on in their lives.

Liz :writing
#30 - April 24, 2008, 05:35 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

http://www.lizstrawwrites.com/

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.