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Kid Konnection: Hound Dog True

September 24, 2011

Mattie and her mother have moved once again and Mattie is dreading the first day of school.  She’s dreading the day the teacher asks her to stand up and introduce herself to the whole class, afraid she’ll say something stupid like last time.  Since she and her mom have moved in her with her Uncle Potluck, who just happens to be the custodian of her new school, Mattie comes up with a plan.  She’s going to make herself indispensable to Uncle Potluck, so he’ll make her his custodial assistant and she won’t have to face the other students.  Things don’t turn out quite the way Mattie planned, but she learns something about herself along the way.

Hound Dog True by Linda Urban is a quirky little book for middle grade readers.  I didn’t quite love this book, but I appreciated the story and loved its message.  Mattie is a shy, self-conscious girl about to enter the fifth grade, and I think a lot of young readers will relate to her.  I felt for Mattie, but she seemed younger than fifth grade to me.

Uncle Potluck is a fabulous character too.  He’s hard working, but doesn’t take himself too seriously.  He accepts Mattie just the way she is and encourages her to be the best she can be.  I think all kids need an Uncle Potluck in their lives.

Mattie discovers that “you can’t have brave without scared,” which helps her find the strength to face her fears.  I think that’s a fantastic message for young readers.  Overall, I’d say Hound Dog True was pretty good, but I’m way over the target age group – I bet younger readers will enjoy it more than I did.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
18 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2011 6:26 am

    Sounds good enough to recommend to friends with youngsters but there are probably better choices.

  2. September 24, 2011 6:39 am

    I really like the message of this one; I don’t really think I had an Uncle Potluck when I was growing up, but I’m sure I could’ve used one.

  3. Alison's Book Marks permalink
    September 24, 2011 7:53 am

    Yes, all kids need an uncle potluck, someone other than their parents. My sister was my biggest cheerleader. I’m nit sure this book is righ for my 9 y/o but I can see my younger son liking it in a few years.

  4. September 24, 2011 8:13 am

    What a cool lesson and great honest review.

  5. September 24, 2011 8:17 am

    This is one of the downfalls of reading MG fiction the age gap is just so much wider. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much, but I’m sure you’re right that those in it’s intended target age group will likely enjoy it more.

  6. September 24, 2011 8:25 am

    I do like the lesson too. A good book can teach something without being too teachy

  7. September 24, 2011 9:05 am

    I was extremely shy as a child so this would have been a great book for me. I like the quote, “you can’t have brave without scared.” How true!

  8. September 24, 2011 9:09 am

    I love quirky books. I’ve not heard of this one before.

  9. September 24, 2011 10:45 am

    I know a little boy who could really benefit form this message, even if the book is quirky. Thanks for sharing this with us, and for being so candid in your opinions.

  10. September 24, 2011 11:39 am

    I like the title… it sounds cute.

  11. September 24, 2011 12:21 pm

    This sounds to be a fun quirky read! I love the title and the name Potluck!

  12. September 24, 2011 12:26 pm

    Sounds like a cute little book and I love that cover!

  13. September 24, 2011 9:57 pm

    “You can’t have brave without scared” – that’s a great message. A little old for my little guy, but maybe next year.

  14. September 25, 2011 9:28 am

    I just love the name “Uncle Potluck”!

  15. Staci permalink
    September 25, 2011 4:16 pm

    This one is on my list of books to order!

  16. September 25, 2011 7:06 pm

    Kathy there is no target age when it comes to reading ;P Just enjoy the skin of the blackberry generation with MTV blasting in the background 😉

  17. September 25, 2011 8:37 pm

    How true: “You can’t have brave without scared.”

  18. September 25, 2011 9:17 pm

    I liked her first book so much more but I did enjoy this one. Great point about the uncle. He was a great character.

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