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ROSCOE RILEY RULES, 3: Don't Swap Your Sweater for a Dog

Author: Katherine Applegate

Illustrator: Brian Biggs

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Publisher: HarperTrophy, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: paperback

Summary: Sometimes, even when you tell the truth, you get sent to time out. That's where we find Roscoe, ready to tell us the whole story about how he once again landed in the corner. When Roscoe saw the ad for a pet-trick contest, he knew it was his chance to win a trophy. It wasn't fair. He was the only Riley who didn't have a trophy! He was sure he could train his dog Goofy to do a trick ... until he saw Martin's dog Edward reading! With just one day to the contest, and no help from Goofy, Roscoe was desperate. So he traded the sweater his Grandma knitted him (and didn't like) to borrow Edward so he could win. Was it worth it? Would he win? This illustrated chapter book is about the life of third-grader Roscoe Riley.

Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading, short chapter, illustrated chapter, transitional reader, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 6 to 10

Reading Level: 3

Age of Child: Read with and by a 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter loves Riley. There are always plenty of laughs because he is always getting in scrapes and his good ideas always seem to land him in hot water. Every time Roscoe or Martin mentioned the sweater, we had to stop reading and look at the front cover to see if the animals on the sweater were in the picture.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a great series. Kids can relate to the characters, and parents can see themselves in their "younger days." Riley wears his emotions on his sleeve, so you feel for him when he realizes that he might have made a mistake trading away Grandma's sweater (even though he didn't like it). I also like that there are still consequences for his choices. The story has plenty of laughs and is a story all ages can enjoy. This is an excellent choice for reluctant and transitional readers, as the sentences are short, the chapters just a few pages, and there is lots of action.

Pros: Wholesome, good-natured humor, and a boy and his dog combine for fun and life lessons in this transitional reader.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a fun series. It is reminiscent of other series, but with good grammar and wholesome humor.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ROSCOE RILEY RULES, 1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs   BUBBA BEGONIA, YOU'LL BE SORRY!   DAISY DAWSON IS ON HER WAY (Daisy Dawson Series)

Educational Themes: This is a fun book that illustrates the life lesson of humor in dealing with tough situations.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, humor, series

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2009, October 2014

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


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