Shelter Pet Squad Series
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that young animal lovers will relate to the upbeat, heartwarming Shelter Pet Squad series by Cynthia Lord, who won a Newbery Honor for Rules (2007). The books focus on five kids working together to care for animals at a shelter and solve the various problems that come up, such as a missing ferret or a guinea pig needing a home. The characters are fairly well developed, especially shy Suzannah, and the chapters are long for early readers (11 to 12 pages), but the writing is interesting and age appropriate. At the end of each book are facts about an animal, ideas for crafts, care instructions, and more information about the responsibility of pet ownership.
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What's the Story?
In the Shelter Pet Squad series, five kids volunteering at the local animal shelter get attached to the "looking for a second chance" pets in their care. Written from the perspective of shy Suzannah, the stories show that the kids do more than just pet the animals. They play with the dogs and cats, toys, try to find caring homes, and, in the case of an escaping ferret, try to find the pet itself! Suzannah isn't allowed to have pets in her apartment, but she gets to love some special animals every Saturday at the shelter.
Is It Any Good?
This is a great series for early readers. The writing is clear and interesting, the chapters are a little long but the plots aren't complicated, and the idea of volunteering to help animals is completely relatable to young kids. Suzannah's insecurities about her age and being the only member of the Shelter Pet Squad without a real pet of her own are a sweet perspective, and one that shy readers can understand. Author Cynthia Lord writes stories that resonate with readers.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why the work that the Shelter Pet Squad does is important, both for animals and people.
Why would an animal end up at a shelter?
What other books have you read that have stories of animals connecting with humans?
- Author: Cynthia Lord
- Illustrator: Erin McGuire
- Genre: For Beginning Readers
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publication date: August 26, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 8
- Number of pages: 125
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: December 13, 2019
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