Choose Your Own Adventure - Dragonlarks
Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers #31
El cas de gos perdut (Catalan)
El caso del perro perdido (Spanish)
Montgomery, R. A.
0553153560 / 9780553153569
193339000X / 9781933390000 (reissue)
|Length:||53 pages (original), 80 pages (reissue)|
|Number of Endings:||10 (original), 9 (reissue)|
|User Summary:||After being left outside as punishment for destroying a shoe, your dog disappears. You, of course, set off to find him.|
|Demian's Thoughts:||This is another fairly average entry in the series. There's nothing exceptionally great about it, but it's not bad either. I suppose it earns some points for the goofy illustration on page 32 and for featuring a bully named Schooner.|
These Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventure books, targeted at younger readers than the main series, have a wide variety of genres. There's realistic fiction, survival stories, fantasy, science fiction, history, and more. Lost Dog! takes a topic relevant to any dog owner--your canine friend wandering off and not returning--and makes a short story with numerous plot possibilities. Having a pet go missing is scary; all sorts of awful scenarios spring to mind, but it's important to act rationally if you're to find your pet quickly. The more logical your choices in Lost Dog!, the sooner you'll likely be reunited.
Ralph was sentenced to sleep outside last night after he gnawed your father's shoe, but this morning you can't find him. Your parents and older brother aren't concerned that anything has happened to the dog, but you're worried, and so is your little sister, Jessica. She'll help you search for him, but where should you look? You could go to the fort in the woods, where you and other neighborhood kids hang out. Ralph likes it there. Unfortunately, you only find a notorious bully named Schooner at the fort with his friends. Spying on them will give you inside information about a dirty trick they plan to play on Old Pete, a friendly man who lives alone in a nearby cabin. You won't let Schooner be mean to him, and heading over to warn Old Pete just might lead you to Ralph. Leaving the fort without spying on Schooner could take you to the park, where other mini adventures await. Any way you go, you'll either locate Ralph unharmed and happy to see you, or reach an end before finding him, but feeling confident you'll be reunited soon.
If instead of visiting the fort you go to the radio station to make a public announcement about Ralph, you also have the option of notifying the police that he's missing. They can send out an alert and confirm that no dog has been reported hit by a car in the area, which should ease your anxiety. If you talk to the right person at the radio station, you'll be offered the chance to host a children's radio program, your voice is so naturally suited for it. You're frantic about Ralph, but even if you indulge your fantasy and get started with the new show before looking for him, he'll be fine. All is well with Ralph whenever and wherever you discover him. He might amble right up to you while you're searching, leaving it a mystery where he ran off to, or be found helping an animal in distress. He might even dramatically return just in time to be your hero if Schooner bullies you. You'll get Ralph back, guaranteed, if you continue searching. He's eager to see you again.
Several endings abruptly stop short of finding Ralph, but some are humorous enough to make up for it. My favorite is the indignant mother who "rescues" her little son Henry from you, then drags him away by his ear. The looks on their faces are good for a laugh. This book is flighty and undisciplined, and internal consistency is sketchy, but there's something to be said for a potentially sad story that always turns out well, offering comfort to those who have lost a pet. It's nice to celebrate a lost-dog scenario that ends with the pet back home and happy. I would read this book again.
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