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Student-Read Chapters

Chapters 1-6 (Week 2 11/14-11/18)

Chapters 7-12 (Week 3 11/21-11/25)

Chapters 13-22 (Week 4 11/28-12/2)

Chapters 23-32 (Week 5 12/5-12/9)

Chapters 33-44 (Week 6 12/12-12/16)

Student Interviews 

Interview with Superintendent Donegan

Interview with Village President Cecily Kaz

Interview with Sgt. Bryan Carlson

Interview with Village Trustee Amy Hannus

Interview with Principal Dr. Stephanie Helfand

Student Creations (Coming Soon!)


One School One Book

Little Dog, Lost

Cover photo of Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer

One School One Book is a fantastic whole-school initiative designed and developed to encourage the entire schoolhouse and Kenilworth community to read, discuss, and engage with one chosen book that supports an overarching theme. 

The Principal's Advisory Board Special Events Committee chose perseverance as this year's theme. In the following written statement, these students explained their reasoning:

"We chose perseverance as our overall topic because the idea of perseverance is universally important for people of all ages. This makes perseverance an important skill to teach early on and ingrain further in older students. Especially in today's world, with the challenges of Covid and the perils of the Ukraine/Russia conflict, learning perseverance couldn't be more necessary. As a school, community, and individuals, the past two years have given Kenilworth some difficult challenges to overcome. We have all persevered, and it is still necessary to continue to do so."

In accordance with this important theme, The Joseph Sears School students and staff will be reading the book Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer; each student will be given their own personal copy. This remarkable novel in verse is centered around a dog seeking her forever home and a boy seeking his canine companion. Along the way, both characters, as well as many more from the town of Erthly, learn important lessons about community, compassion, caring for one another, and of course, perseverance.

The newly created JSS Library Club will assist in developing weekly activities, essential questions, and read-aloud videos. Then, beginning in October, the whole schoolhouse community will be invited to read this book together over six weeks. 

"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 the kind of love and care—the “something more”—a dog 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 and told in verse that resolves with love, understanding, and a sense of belonging—plus a place to play a game of fetch!"

Author Website

Book Trailer from Publisher


Professional Reviews

/* Starred Review */ Grades 3-6

A stray on the streets of the small town of Erthly, little dog  Buddy remembers her happy bond with a boy, whose family moved away to a city apartment where there was no room for Buddy. Then Buddy’s new owner shooed her out, and she left, head low, / tail tucked, / airplane ears sagging. But Buddy is not the only stray in Erthly who is lonely and lost : So many lives / filled / with longing. There is Charles Larue, a shy, reclusive caretaker of a mansion. Does he have a dark secret? And then there is Mark, a young boy whose father took off before he was born, who desperately wants a dog  and falls instantly, helplessly in love with Buddy, feeling the snuffle of warm breath against his palm. But Mark’s mother, who is mayor of Erthly, says no to a pet. The town kids want a dog  park, and they organize a rally to support their cause, but can Mark confront his mom? Illustrated with occasional, expressive black-and-white drawings, mostly from Buddy’s viewpoint of the world from the ground up, the rapid, immediate free verse will grab readers first with the longing and loneliness and then, in contrast, the boy and dog  in bliss. Great for sharing with pet lovers. -- Rochman, Hazel (Reviewed 06-01-2012) (Booklist, vol 108, number 19, p76)

Publishers Weekly:
Told in free verse, this charming novel examines themes of longing and loneliness through three memorable characters: a boy, Mark, who desperately wants a dog ; a taciturn old man, Charles Larue, who cares for an empty mansion; and a small dog , Buddy, given away when her family moves. 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, where Mark’s mother is mayor. The stories of these three characters converge when Buddy runs away, Larue seeks a purpose after his deceased boss wills him the house, and Mark channels his wish for a dog  into a protest for a dog  park. “So much longing/ So many lives/ filled/ with longing./ It’s what our stories—/ all our stories—/ are made of./ And what is longing/ made of/ except hope?” While Bauer offers a somewhat tidy conclusion, 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. Ages 8–12. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (May) --Staff (Reviewed April 2, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 14, p)

/* Starred Review */

When her loving family--especially the boy who kisses her on the lips--moves to the city, Buddy is re-homed with a clueless though kind woman while a dog -loving boy yearns for a mutt of his own. Long, thin lines of free-verse text scroll invitingly down the mostly white pages. This tender, engaging effort economically captures the winsome attitude of Buddy, whose "ears like airplane wings" now sag. She spends her days peering through her new owner's fence, watching despondently for her missing boy and finally resolving to go find him. Mark, who lives in the same town, feels his life is empty without the dog  he desperately needs but his mother won't permit. And there is shy Charles Larue, the aging caretaker of a nearby mansion, who spends his lonely days waiting for something--anything--to bring meaning to his life. How these three needy creatures will come together is predictable but wholly satisfying nonetheless. Bauer describes the little dog  joyfully chasing a ball: "She rose and rose / as though her hind legs were springs, / as though her front ones were wings." The description just as aptly captures the heartening nature of this attractive tale, which is enhanced with Bell's pleasant black-and-white illustrations. A perfect selection for pet lovers new to chapter books and anyone who just enjoys a cheerful dog  story. (Verse fiction. 8-12)(Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2012)