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From Newbery Honoree Marion Dane Bauer comes the tale of a boy who needs a dog, and a dog who needs a boy--a match made in heaven, if only the two can meet. Mark is a boy who needs a dog. But he can't get his mom on board with his plan. Buddy is a dog who needs a boy. Buddy has an owner already, but not one who understands the kind of love and care--the "something more"--a dog needs. Mr. LaRue is a neighbor who needs a community. He's alone all the time in his huge old house--and everyone needs more than that. Over the course of a summer thunderstorm and one chaotic town council meeting, these three characters cross paths and come together in a timeless tale ripe with emotions and told in verse that resolves with love, understanding, and a sense of belonging--plus a place to play a game of fetch!
The long-awaited prequel to the bestseller FOURTH GRADE RATS George, aka "Suds," has just entered third grade, and he's heard the rhyme about "first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats," but what does this mean for his school year? It means that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves to be awarded "the halo" - which student is best-behaved, kindest to others, and, in short, perfect. Suds is determined to be the first to earn the halo, but he's finding the challenge of always being good to be more stressful than he had anticipated. Does he have to be good even outside of school? (Does he have to be nice to his annoying little sister?) And if Mrs. Simms doesn't actually see him doing a good deed, does it even count? A warm, funny return to elementary school from master storyteller Spinelli.
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