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AGGIE THE BRAVE (Aggie and Ben)

Author: Lori Ries

Illustrator: Frank W. Dormer

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Charlesbridge,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Ben and his mom are taking Aggie to the vet to be spayed. Aggie is scared; Ben is brave ... until he learns that he'll be going home without Aggie. Ben hopes that by going to bed in the afternoon tomorrow will get here faster and they can pick up Aggie sooner. Ben is happy, but sad. Now Aggie has to be a "quiet" dog for two weeks. No running around. How can Ben help Aggie be brave now? This is part of an easy reader series about a boy and his dog.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, learning to read, read aloud book, illustrated chapter

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 1.2

Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: "Poor Aggie," she said. Our dog-loving daughter instantly connected with this book and ran to spend time quietly with our own dog after she read it.

Adult Reader Reaction: Aggie and Ben are great stories for sharing with young children before they read, and exceptional for new readers polishing their skills. This story, in particular, will resonate with any family who has a pet going to the vet for surgery and/or overnight. Ben is an "all kids" character who is brave (but then not), happy (but then sad), and always compassionate.

Pros: Cute illustrations add expression to this set of short stories about a dog going to the vet. This is an easy reader that is also a wonderful book to read aloud with younger audiences.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy, especially if you have (or are thinking about) a pet. Aggie is a dog, but the experiences are equally apropos for cats or other animals who go to the vet. This is great for sharing with young kids, kids learning to read, or older siblings reading for you.


Educational Themes: The main theme of the book is what happens at the vet, but there are lots of things to explore: Ben's feelings (and Aggie's too), how Ben finds ways to help Aggie feel better, and friendship. This would be a good book for helping kids understand empathy and compassion.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, easy reader series, friendship

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2010

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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