Aggie Gets Lost
written by Lori Ries; illustrated by Frank W. Dormer
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Ben and his dog Aggie go to the park to play fetch with a red rubber ball. Aggie is a good dog who brings the ball back every time. She is so good that Ben decides to rear back and throw the ball real hard. He throws it so hard that he cannot see the ball. Aggie runs after the ball but does not come back. Ben calls and calls and looks for Aggie but does not see her. He walks forlornly back home without Aggie. Ben and his family make phone calls and posters. They go back to the park, but do not find Aggie. Ben spends a lonely night full of doubt but is still determined to find his lost friend. The next morning, Ben gets advice from a surprising source and finds a happy, but quite smelly Aggie in the woods.
Two of the reasons why I think Aggie Gets Lost is such an early reader treasure is its authenticity and ability to show the depth of emotions that kids of all ages experience. The second of three chapters, "The Awful Night", gives us a character that goes through a range of emotions (doubt, heartache, anger, determination) that is incredibly rich for a beginning reader chapter book. Ben is like any of us who have lost something dear and wonder why it had to happen or if we did enough. Children and adults will easily connect to the feelings of this wonderful lead character.
Aggie Gets Lost would be a terrific book for teaching young children about how the plot in a book is often driven by a character's reaction to a problem. It would also be an excellent addition to a unit on friendship or pets.
You can sneak a peek at Aggie Gets Lost at A Story Before Bed.