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No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
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No More Dead Dogs (2000)

by Gordon Korman

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Huh.  I'm not sure I understand why other reviewers say this is predictable & cliched.  Sure, it's light, not intense, but I've read a *lot* of MG fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Funny, sweet, and something that both boys and girls can appreciate.  The Rick-isms often made me lol, I have to admit.  And the nod to Tom Sawyer's fence was charming.  And, while I did have the right person in mind as a suspect in the mystery, I was not at all sure that I had it solved. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This review is also available on my blog, Read TIll Dawn.

This is one of my all-time favorites of Korman's - and that's saying a lot! I've read the vast majority of his books, and loved the vast majority of those. His books are funny, clever, witty, and always leave you with a smile at the end of the day. I own a bunch of Gordon Kormans, but this is one of my favorites - right up there with Schooled and The Chicken Doesn't Skate. I've read it literally more times than I can count, coming back to it again and again whenever I need cheering up or a reminder of why I love to read. I finally bought my own copy with one of the gift cards I got for Christmas, and I loved re-reading it yet again! It never grows old for me, and I could literally read it over and over again and never get sick of it.

This is a character-driven book, full of characters with just enough quirk to be hilarious and charming, but not enough to be over-the-top obnoxiously quirky. The traditional school roles of the jocks and the drama nerds are simultaneously affirmed and trampled in this book where the most happening event of the school year is the play, and the star of the football team spends far more time back-stage than he does on the field.

Speaking of Wallace Wallace (no typo, his first name is also his last name!), he is both heartwarming and hilarious. He unerringly tells the truth no matter what the question, or who is listening. This means that he is absolutely, rolling-on-the-ground, hilarious when people ask him questions that really warrant a white lie, not a detailed (and completely truthful) answer. I love him for being so honest, so straightforward, and so matter-of-fact about things. He wants more than anything else to be honest, but along the way he creates a big mess.

Of course, the story is not just about Wallace. It switches POV between many other characters as well, including Rachel (president of the drama club), Trudi (Rachel's ditzy best friend with a crush on Wallace), and Mr. Fogelman (the teacher who forces Wallace to participate in the play until he writes a positive essay about Old Shep, My Pal). The POV switches often enough to keep things fresh, without confusing the reader. Every chapter is narrated in first person by a different character, but each of them has such a different voice that it is impossible to forget who is talking. My favorite narrator would have to be Rachel, because I love her by herself and because I love seeing Wallace through her eyes.

I can't put into words why exactly I love this book so much, but I do, and I wholeheartedly reccomend it to anyone and everyone. Please, read it. You'll thank me once you're finished. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Wallace Wallace cannot tell a lie. He always tells the absolute truth. So when he wrote a book report about "Old Shep, My Pal" he said it sucked in no uncertain terms. His teacher isn't having it so Wallace gets detention until he can write a proper report. While in detention, Wallace has the chance to observe rehearsals for the school play that his teacher is directing. The play? "Old Shep, My Pal." Wallace cannot tell a lie so he starts making suggestions for improving the play: put in a rollerblading dog catcher, a moped disguised as a motorcycle, add a rock band. But when someone begins sabotaging the play is Wallace lying when he says he's not doing it?
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I liked this one better than The Chocolate War. First, although the hero, Wallace Wallace, starts out being a bit of a jerk, he evolves over the course of the story and learns a thing or two about friendship and belonging. Second, the atmosphere was a lot lighter--bad things still happen, but the setting isn't as claustrophobic and Gothic as in TCW. Third, even though I know it was a bit hokey, I liked the device of having Rachel write to Julia Roberts for advice, as "a fellow actress." I like the chapters being different peoples' perspectives, too.

I'm finding it hard to believe that the English teacher would have prevailed as long as he did, though--here in the Southern U.S., football is King (when it's not basketball season), and you'd better believe that WW would have been allowed to play tout suite. It's depressing, actually.

I think if I had come across this one during my middle school or even early high school years, it would have become one of my all-time favorites. As it is, it was a fun way to spend a few hours. ( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
This is a book that I think might be wasted on some kids; I myself am 61. Its partly realistic, partly farcical plot kept me laughing -- I'd certainly be proud to be Wallace Wallace's mother, but it's a little hard when he is being, not so much honest, as forthright and brutally witty.

I read the book because, frankly, as an adult, I'm tired of being told what to read. I don't read much "serious modern fiction." I read about half non-fiction and three-eights genre fiction, and many people I know would be scandalized -- I must be stupid and unaware; oddly enough non-fiction seems to count for nothing in these literary debates. The thing is, much of the "serious" fiction could be sorted into genres as predictable as any other, if only I was clever enough to come up with catchy names to describe them. "This book has an important message," some critic cries, and yeah, it's only been said in a hundred other books, because it's the current trendy "original" idea. So I really appreciate Wallace's comment: "pick out a book with an award sticker and a dog on the cover. Trust me, that dog is going down." Generally, if it won the Pulitzer for Fiction, or the Booker, or was recommended by Oprah, it's going to be about as appealing to me as dead dogs. ( )
1 vote juglicerr | Jul 8, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gordon Kormanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrari, AlexCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For M. Jerry Weiss,

who has been encouraging me to write about

Rick-isms since the eternal equinox
First words
When my dad was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, he once rescued eight Navy SEALS who were stranded behind enemy lines.
Quotations
The characters in this book are fictional.  Any resemblance you may find to actual persons or dogs, living or dead, proves that you have a lot of strange friends.
Because the dog always dies.  Go to the library and pick out a book with an award sticker and a dog on the cover.   Trust me, that dog is going down.  (Wallace Wallace)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Hooray for Wallace Wallace! Unlike his father, who seems to have trouble speaking the truth, Wallace does not lie. He refuses to. That's why, when his teacher asked him to give his opinion on the book he was required to read, he honestly wrote that it was the most boring book he'd ever read in his entire life. It was too bad for Wallace that this book just happened to be his teacher's favorite book, and he didn't take too kindly to Wallace's review. In fact, Mr, Fogleman assigned Wallace a detention until he turned in a proper review. And since it is football season and everyone thinks Wallace is an important part of the team, no one is very happy when Wallace can't attend practice. But Wallace is a young man of principals. He refuses to lie about the book he didn't like, the book where he knew the dog would die before ever opening the cover. After all, the dog always dies. So one detention becomes endless detentions. And since Mr. Fogelman is also directing the school play, Wallace must spend his detention at play practice. Oh, and the play they are working on? An adaptation of the very book for which Wallace refuses to rewrite the review. With a football team angry at him, a school reporter bending the truth to hold his readers, a drama team that values his every opinion, and a future actress who sees him as Mr. Fogelman does, will Wallace end up having to break his own rule about always telling the truth? And will the dog have to die?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786816015, Paperback)

Nobody understands Wallace Wallace. This reluctant school football hero has been suspended from the team for writing an unfavorable book report of Old Shep, My Pal. But Wallace won`t tell a lie-he hated every minute of the book! Why does the dog in every classic novel have to croak at the end? After refusing to do a rewrite, his English teacher, who happens to be directing the school play Old Shep, My Pal, forces him go to the rehearsals as punishment. Although Wallace doesn`t change his mind, he does end up changing the play into a rock-and-roll rendition, complete with Rollerblades and a moped!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:12 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well.… (more)

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