Easy English Novels - A Dogs Life


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Website: http://english-power.net
The best way to improve reading and writing is to read easy novels… and read them everyday. How easy? Well, you should not need a dictionary to understand and you should be able to read quickly. On most pages, you should understand 98% of the words.

You can start with kids novels– books for children ages 7-12. Then find adolescent novels (for ages 13-15). After you read a lot of those, read novels for teenagers (16-18 years old)… and finally, novels for adults. What kind of novels? Anything you like. Mystery, romance, adventure, etc…. Read things you like. Read easy novels. Read a lot and read everyday. Don’t use a dictionary– read quickly and enjoy your reading. This is the best way to improve both reading and writing

Easy English Novels - A Dogs Life

  1. 1. A Dog’s Life by Claire Daniel illustrated by Maurie J. Manning Copyright © by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be addressed to School Permissions and Copyrights, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887–6777. Fax: 407-345-2418. HARCOURT and the Harcourt Logo are trademarks of Harcourt, Inc., registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions. Printed in Mexico ISBN 10: 0-15-350994-5 ISBN 13: 978-0-15-350994-0 Ordering Options ISBN 10: 0-15-350602-4 (Grade 5 On-Level Collection) ISBN 13: 978-0-15-350602-4 (Grade 5 On-Level Collection) ISBN 10: 0-15-357947-1 (package of 5) ISBN 13: 978-0-15-357947-9 (package of 5) If you have received these materials as examination copies free of charge, Harcourt School Publishers retains title to the materials and they may not be resold. Resale of examination copies is strictly prohibited and is illegal. Possession of this publication in print format does not entitle users to convert this publication, or any portion of it, into electronic format. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 126 12 11 10 09 08 07 06RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 1 10/16/06 3:16:45 PM
  2. 2. No amount of begging would change my father’s mind about getting a pet. No matter how desperately I pleaded my case, his answer was “No!” Dad indignantly said “NO!” to a cat, a frog, a gerbil, and even a fish. Pets were not allowed, and that was that. Eventually, I accepted that he was not going to change his mind. I did the only thing that I could. I spent as much time as possible around other people’s pets. 3RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 3 9/6/06 8:47:08 AM
  3. 3. I often spent time at a place called Best Friends. Best Friends is an animal shelter near my house. Animals ended up there when people could no longer care for them. Whenever I visited the shelter, I dreamed about taking one of the dogs home with me. 4RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 4 9/6/06 8:55:18 AM
  4. 4. One day after school, I stopped off at Best Friends like I usually did. Behind the front desk was a new receptionist. I cleared my throat and said, “Excuse me.” The woman looked up, barely acknowledging me, then glanced away. “Yes?” she sneered. 5RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 5 9/6/06 8:55:32 AM
  5. 5. “My name is Rose, and I was wondering if...I mean... do you think it would be possible for me to see the animals today?” I asked. “Sorry, kid,” she said. “The rules have changed. Now we only allow children to visit the animals when they are accompanied by an adult.” Before I could say anything, a young woman pushed through the swinging doors and urgently said, “We could use your help back here!” 6RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 6 10/16/06 3:18:27 PM
  6. 6. Before joining the worker, the woman at the desk said to me, “Come back with your parents.” Not much chance of that, I thought. I’m not sure why, but I decided to go back to Best Friends every day that week. I always asked to see the animals, and the receptionist, Renee, always said that I needed to have an adult with me. Each day, she said the same thing. Then on Friday, she changed her mind. “Okay, just this once, I’ll take you back,” she said grudgingly. “Just this once.” She opened the swinging doors, and I followed her. We passed the small cages with cats, rabbits, one ferret, one iguana, and other small animals. 7RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 7 11/11/06 1:11:11 AM
  7. 7. “Here are the dogs,” she said. There were dogs of all different breeds, ages, and colors. I wanted them all. A large, shaggy, yellow dog stood in the corner, and when he saw me, he wagged his tail and began whining. “That’s Fenway,” she said. “He whines incessantly. His owners brought him here when they moved overseas.” 8RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 8 5/10/07 12:02:22 PM
  8. 8. “He must be lonely,” I suggested. “Your parents won’t let you have a dog?” Renee asked. I didn’t answer, but my look must have said everything, because then she said, “That’s too bad. These dogs need good homes and good people to take care of them.” On my way home, I had an idea. I went home and wrote a story as if Fenway were writing it. I told all about his family and why he had no home. The next day, I took my camera to the shelter, and Renee let me take Fenway’s picture. I went home, typed Fenway’s story on the computer, and illustrated it with his photograph. 9RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 9 5/10/07 12:03:32 PM
  9. 9. I took Fenway’s story to the shelter and showed it to Renee. The next thing I knew, the director of the shelter was reading Fenway’s story. After she finished, she looked at me and said, “How would you like a job?” My heart jumped out of my chest. “You bet!” I said. She said, “We have too many dogs that aren’t being adopted, and I think that this is the perfect way to draw people into the shelter. If we publish their stories in the newspaper, then people might be motivated to come in and see the dogs.” 10RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 10 10/16/06 3:23:34 PM
  10. 10. Hi! My name is Fenway, and I want to go home with you. I used to have the perfect family until Jason’s dad got a new job overseas. Soon everyone else joined him, except for me. Now I need your help. I like to run around and play fetch. I can hang out in the park all day long, even if it’ cold outside. I can s sit and stay. I’m housebroken and don ’ t often bark . I do whine often as I miss my old family. However , I am ready to find a new one, and I think when I do, the whining will stop. I’m ready if you ready, so why ’re don ’ t you give me a chance? 11RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 11 5/10/07 12:23:21 PM
  11. 11. “How about the Internet?” I asked. “If you have a website, we could post the stories there, too.” The director thought my idea was brilliant. She encouraged me to write about the animals. Best of all, I got to spend time at the shelter learning the personalities of the pets. My name is Sandy. I’m a friendly, sweet cat who is looking for a good home. One thing you might not know about me is that I am the proud mama of six kittens. I quickly found a home for each of them. Now if only I could find one for myself! I’m gentle and caring. I like to relax and sleep. Now that my kittens are gone, I am full of love. Can I share it with you? 12RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 12 5/10/07 12:24:57 PM
  12. 12. The next weekend, the shelter was flooded with families who wanted pets. Some had seen the story in the newspaper, and others had found it on the Internet. I stood with Fenway as people admired him. Fenway’s tail wagged so fast that I was afraid it might fall off. Suddenly, the most amazing thing happened. My parents walked into the shelter towards Fenway. “Is this the dog?” Dad asked. “He is a handsome dog.” “He is,” I said proudly. My father said quietly, “I had a dog when I was your age.” I was shocked but didn’t say anything, so he continued. “I loved that dog more than anything. I cried for weeks on end when he died.” “I’m sorry, Dad,” I said. Mom put her arm on my Dad’s shoulder, and he said, “Your mother and I have been thinking a lot about your love for dogs.” 13RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 13 5/10/07 12:26:23 PM
  13. 13. At that moment, a girl walked up to Fenway and said loudly, “Look here, I bet this is the dog from the story in the newspaper. I really hope he finds a home.” Her mother walked up beside us and smiled down at Fenway. She reached down to pet the dog. My father turned to the girl and said, “Don’t you worry about Fenway. He will be well taken care of.” I was confused. I looked to my father for some kind of explanation. Then he said, “Whenever you’re ready, Rose, we can take Fenway home with us.” It took a second for this to sink in. Then my dad nodded, and I knew it was true. I had never felt so jubilant in my life. I think I held my breath for the entire thirty minutes it took for us to sign the papers and get Fenway out of there. As we walked out of Best Friends, no one could have pried Fenway’s leash from my hand. I did not ask Dad why he changed his mind, because that was not as important as the dog that now slept by my bed each night. Mine and Fenway’s stories had happy endings, and I liked to think that my dad’s did, too. Hopefully, my stories about the animals at Best Friends will lead to more happy endings like mine. 14RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 14 5/10/07 12:27:30 PM
  14. 14. Think Critically 1. Why didn’t Rose’s parents want to get a pet? 2. Why do you think that Rose’s father changed his mind about letting her have a pet? 3. Why did all the people come to see the pets over the weekend? 4. What advice might Rose give to a child who really wanted a pet? 5. Do you think that Rose will be a good owner for Fenway? Why or why not? Music Write a Pet Song Think about a pet you know. Write a song about the pet’s life as if the pet were writing it. Then illustrate your song. School-Home Connection Work with a family member to make a list of different pets and the things they need to be happy and healthy in a home. Then discuss what kind of pet, if any, would be best for your family. Word Count: 1,157RXENL08ARD5O03_OLR.indd 15 5/10/07 12:27:58 PM