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Groundwood Books

The Spotted Dog Last Seen

Written by Jessica Scott Kerrin

For kids 8 - 11 years old | Published August 01, 2013 | ISBN 9781554983872
JUVENILE FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories

Cover of The Spotted Dog Last Seen

Regular price $14.95 CAD

208 pages
Print Format

About this book

The Spotted Dog Last Seen

Jessica Scott Kerrin

While tracking clues from a secret code penciled in the margins of mystery novels at a public library, Derek Knowles-Collier discovers a time capsule that may finally put his haunting past to rest.

At QueensviewElementary, grade-six students are required to complete a community service unit as part of their school curriculum. Derek Knowles-Collier was sick when groups were assigned, so he is stuck with what’s leftover: landscape and repair duty at the local cemetery.

Derek is not happy about his assignment. When he was very young, his friend Dennis was killed by a car after running into the road to catch a ball. Ever since, Derek has had recurring nightmares, and he is afraid that spending time in a cemetery will make it even harder for him to sleep through the night.

It’s a relief, therefore, when his group’s lessons on all aspects of cemetery care are so interesting and strange that Derek just doesn’t have time to dwell on his experience with death. And when it rains, the lessons take place in the nearby public library, which takes him out of the cemetery altogether, at least for an afternoon.

One day, a book arrives at the library, an anonymous donation that happens every year. On reading the book, Derek and his group mates find a secret code written on an inside margin. One code leads to the next, with the last code leading the students to a time capsule.

Through a series of discoveries and deductions, Derek and his friends discover who has been sending books to the library every year. They also discover the truth behind Dennis’s long-ago death, which means that Derek is finally able to put his terrifying memories (and his nightmares) to rest.

INCLUDES A SECRET CODE FOR READERS TO DECIPHER!

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.6
Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.6
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

About the Author

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of The Things Owen Wrote, The Spotted Dog Last Seen (finalist for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the John Spray Mystery Award) and The Missing Dog Is Spotted. She is also the author of the picture book, The Better Tree Fort (illustrated by Qin Leng), and is known for the Lobster Chronicles series and the bestselling Martin Bridge series. Her novels have been translated into French, Turkish, Russian and Slovenian.? Born and raised in Alberta, Jessica now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Awards and Praise

"Going far beyond mystery book conventions, Spotted Dog is also a well-told story of growth and self-forgiveness." — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

  • Short-listed Cochecho Readers' Award, 2015
  • Short-listed CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, 2014
  • Short-listed Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, 2015
  • Short-listed Rocky Mountain Book Award,
  • Short-listed John Spray Mystery Award, 2014
  • Commended A New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing, 2013