Hound Dog True

ISBN-10: 0547850832
ISBN-13: 9780547850832
Author: Urban, Linda
Interest Level: 4-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: November 2012

Copyright: 2011

Page Count: 160

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Interest Level

Grades 4-6

Reading Level

Guided Reading: R
Lexile: 710L
Accelerated Reader Level: 4.1
Accelerated Reader Points: 3.0
Grade Level Equivalent: 4

BISAC Subjects

JUVENILE FICTION / Family / General (see also headings under Social Themes)


JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship

Mattie, a shy fifth-grader, wants to hide out at her new school by acting as apprentice to her Uncle Potluck, the custodian, but her plan falls apart when she summons the courage to speak about what matters most and finds a true friend.
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Emma Williams, Collection Development Specialist at Booksource

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3/25/2013 3:19:00 PM
Mattie Breen and her mom have moved yet again, but this time they have landed in a familiar place—living with her Uncle Potluck in the house her mom grew up in. This is a desirable situation since Uncle Potluck is a hoot! Still, Mattie needs to adjust to a new home. In one week’s time she will start fifth grade as the new, friendless, shy girl. Again. This time, though, she has a plan for all those “unplanned” times at school, like recess and lunch—she will be a custodial assistant to the amazing director of custodial arts who just so happens to be her Uncle Potluck! She becomes his helper the week before school starts; writing down every bit of custodial wisdom he imparts. Writing these tidbits in her notebook brings back memories of the stories that she used to write—a pastime she has given up because of a painful memory from her last school. As the story unfolds, Mattie begins to take root in this new place and begins to find out that she is much more than a friendless, shy girl.

Classroom Idea: The title phrase, “hound dog true,” has different meanings throughout the book. Pause to reflect on what it means at these points and write them on a presentation pad, overhead or smart board. When the class finishes the book, let your students choose their preferred definition and write their own “hound dog true” story, statement, or journal entry.