Little Dog, Lost

Little Dog, Lost


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A “wholly satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) novel in verse starring a boy, a lost dog, and a lonely old man, from Newbery Honoree Marion Dane Bauer

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 what a dog really 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. They’ll realize they all need the same things: love, understanding, and a sense of belonging—plus a place to play a game of fetch!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442434240
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 193
Sales rank: 511,437
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.57(d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Marion Dane Bauer is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book On My Honor and the New York Times bestseller My Mother Is Mine. Her other titles include A Mama for Owen, If You Were Born a Kitten, Grandmother’s Song, and Thank You for Me!. She has retired from the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults where she was the first Faculty Chair. She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and can be reached at

Jennifer A. Bell is an illustrator whose work can be found on greeting cards, in magazines, and in over a dozen children’s books. She lives with her husband, son, and cranky cat in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Read an Excerpt

Little Dog, Lost

  • Little dog,


    Little black dog with brown paws

    and a brown mask

    and a sweet ruffle of brown fur on her bum

    just beneath her black whip of a tail.

    Satiny coat.

    Ears like airplane wings

    that drop

    just at the tips.

    She used to be called Buddy

    until no one called her anything at all.

    “Hey, you!” maybe.

    Or “Shoo!”

    Names to run from.

    Buddy wasn’t always lost.

    Once she owned a boy.

    It was the boy who named her.

    (“I know she’s a girl,” he’d say,

    “but she’s my buddy anyway.”)

    Her boy threw a ball


    and again

    and again

    until Buddy flopped

    onto her belly

    in the tickling grass

    and dropped

    the ball

    between her paws,

    her tongue as limp




    Come and get it, her grin always said,

    and then I’ll chase some more.

    The boy used to take Buddy’s pointy face

    between his hands

    and kiss her on the lips,

    just like that.

    When Buddy was quick,

    she could get in a lick

    at the exact moment

    of the kiss.

    The boy would say, “Arghhh!”

    and wipe his mouth

    with the back of his hand.

    Then he’d kiss Buddy

    on the lips


    In short,

    Buddy and her boy

    were perfectly matched

    and perfectly happy


    But nothing,

    not even the sweetest love,

    can be certain

    of lasting


  • What People are Saying About This

    From the Publisher

    "Here is a tale that warms the heart from top to bottom and back again. This is storytelling in all its glory."—Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor Book The Underneath

    * "Wholly satisfying.... A perfect selection for pet lovers new to chapter books and anyone who just enjoys a cheerful dog story."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    * “The rapid, immediate free verse will grab readers with first the longing and loneliness and then, on contrast, the boy and dog in bliss. Great for sharing with pet lovers.”—Booklist, starred review

    “Marion Dane Bauer delicately showcases yearning in so many hearts, human and animal. Buddy, a female dog so named by her first owner because she was his buddy, loses one home and moves through another before emerging as a much-loved Ruby at the end. Telling the story in short poems, which highlight central characters, allows Bauer to make the story accessible to many different readers. The lines can dwell on Buddy's cute ears or the “eyes as blue as a Caribbean sea” of a lonely older man, or the wonderful dog-dominating skills of a cat named Fido. A great read-aloud.”

    —Mary Harris Russell, Chicago Tribune

    "Newbery Honor–author Bauer (On My Honor) crafts distinct voices for each character and develops a strong sense of place in the close-knit town of Erthly. . . . Any child who has ever longed for a pet or tried to convince a parent to give in to a dear wish will identify with Mark."—Publishers Weekly

    "Written in poetry form, this title is a wonderful story for dog lovers and those who like a little mystery—the reader does not find out until the end of the book how each character’s story relates others. This is perfect for a read-aloud or to read alone."

    -—Library Media Connection, October 2012

    American Kennel Club Responsible Dog Ownership Month

    American Kennel Club;

    Little Dog, Lost (Atheneum, 2012) by Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer is the heartwarming story 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! This touching novel in verse will captivate readers. A guide for the novel including discussion questions, simile and persuasive letter writing activities, and more is available free ( Grades 3-7.

    SLM, September 2012

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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    Little Dog, Lost 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a good book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love children's literature, and this little book about a boy who needs a dog (and a dog who needs a boy) is a gem. The illustrations are adorable, and the characters are memorable. It is geared toward younger children so be aware of that when selecting this as a gift. But for those people of any age who love a tale/tail with a happy ending , I think you'll enjoy this book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a book to remember. Inexpensive, interesting and unforgettable. All in the format of poems.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was an awesome read, and very well-written. My 6 yr old loved this book, and is looking forward to more from this author; she did not want to put it down. Adults will enjoy this story as much as she did.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Probably a good book, but it is for young reader, my accident there:-)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I totally love this book!!!! In fact i adire this book so if you want to read it i engiurage you to read it!!!!! But the reasin i give it a 4 str was u jusr didn't like when the little dog got lost :(
    knitwit2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Book in verse. - great for reluctant readers. The very sweet little story of a displaced dog, a boy in want/need of a daog, and an old man in need of anyone. Buddy has been placed in a new home with a person wo doesn't dislike dogs but doesn't know what to do with them either. Mark is a little boy alone with his mother who is lonely. He has friends but they all have pets to love. Mr. Larue has inherited a large property but has no one to share it with. He is also very shy. Mark and his friends decide the town needs a dog park. Mark's mother, the mayor and the town council are approached, but is Larue who saves the day by sharing his property for use as a dog park. Little Buddy is taken in by Mark and his reluctant mother. The world and all is right in the town of erthly.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love it! Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer is a wonderful book, and if you read it I think you would like it. I like the book because it was emotional. I felt happy in the beginning and a few pages after the happy parts, it gets sad and I felt like I wanted to cry. The resolution made me warm and fuzzy inside. The final reason I like it is because when the little boy found out his mom wouldn't let him keep the dog,  he ran away. He was very bold. The book is about a little boy who wanted to keep his dog, but he had to move to the city and where he lived didn't accept dog. The little boy had to give his dog to his moms friend to watch. One day the little dog dug a hole in the yard and got out and got lost. Another boy named Mark found him and he knew his mom wouldn't let him keep him. Later, his mom told him to come inside but Mark told his mom how he was not going to live with his dad, brother, sister or his mom if they didn’t let him keep the little dog. One of my favorite parts is when when the little boy ran away and didn't come inside when his mom called him. I like this part because it reminds me of my sister, but she doesn't run away. My second favorite part is when they were talking about the little boy and the dog. Something special happens and it made me so happy. My final favorite part is when the little dog kissed the first little boy on the mouth. This happened again with Mark. This made me happy because my little puppy and I kissed before, and it reminded me of my puppy. In conclusion, I think if you were to read this book you would like it a lot. If you read it, tell me your favorite parts and if you liked this book.*4th grade student
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is the worst book I have ever read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It was okay
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I like puppies: )
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Kiss your hand post this on three differant books and look under your pillow.