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Groundwood Books

The Spotted Dog Last Seen

Written by Jessica Scott Kerrin

For readers 8 - 11 years old | Published July 29, 2013 | ISBN 9781554983889
JUVENILE FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories

Cover of The Spotted Dog Last Seen

Regular price $8.95 CAD

208 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Spotted Dog Last Seen

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Finalist for the Canadian Library Association's 2014 Book of the Year for Children Award

Selected as a New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing

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code penciled in the margins of mystery novels at a public library, Derek Knowles-Collier discovers a time capsule, an unpublished author and a gravestone that may finally put his haunting past to rest.

At Queensview Elementary, 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.


About the Author

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of the middle-grade novels The Things Owen Wrote, The Spotted Dog Last Seen and The Missing Dog Is Spotted. She is also known for the Lobster Chronicles series and the best-selling Martin Bridge series. Born and raised in Alberta, she now lives in downtown Halifax, Canada, or on her boat, Cape Fear, during the summer months. The Better Tree Fort is her first picture book.

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