Some members of this Ella Mentry School class are struggling with reading. Their teacher, Mr. Mackay, decides to introduce the school to Miss Klute, a therapy Labradoodle. Miss Klute is the hit of the school, and all of the students want to read to her. A.J. and his classmates like some reading (they have good taste in Dan Yaccarino), but they especially like to make up their own stories when they get bored. The students worry that Miss Klute is also becoming uninterested and sad. A.J. comes up with a solution to take Miss Klute for a walk. Like A.J.’s usual luck, though, a squirrel runs by and the students lose Miss Klute in the chase. Chaos breaks out at the school and when they find Miss Klute, they have more of a mess than they bargained for. Meant for harder to engage readers, the My Weird School series (and its run offs) is best for first to third and struggling fourth grade readers. I laughed along with Gutman’s corny jokes, and I enjoyed the “everyday going to school feel” of the book. There is a short, simple plot and little character development, which is why I would also help promote these types of books as ones to start with and grab younger readers’ attentions but also pair with more developed titles in the future.
My Weirder School #11 Miss Klute Is A Hoot by Dan Gutman and performed by Andy Paris (HarperCollins, 2014)