another oldie but goodie

Anyone remember this one? It was one of my favorites. I am trying to remember the plot from when I read this about 20 years ago. Two girls are paired together to do community service, and part of it is to read to children. They read a book about a dog giving birth, and I don’t even know what was scandalous about it, they didn’t show the dogs copulating or the actual birth canal or anything, but the teachers of the school were up in arms and it created a big controversy. The girls fought for the kid’s rights to hear the story and it was all mini-activism stuff.

13 thoughts on “another oldie but goodie

  1. Abby says:

    This was one of my favorites as well. From what I remember, the controversy started not due to the book, per se, but because one of the boys in the first grade class asked the girl who read the book how the dog became pregnant. She told them about mating, and those kids in the know all threw their two cents in. I think mostly the parents were upset because Kate (the reader) used real names for all the organs involved.

    The teachers weren’t up in arms though– it was all parents. The teachers were actually accused of planning the whole thing, using the inter-school program as a way to teach sex education to six year olds…I believe one of the parents even lobbied to get the teachers fired.

  2. Jessa Fields says:

    I loved this book too! And I haven’t thought about it in 20 years! I remember my mom saw the title and was a bit freaked that I was eight years old and reading this. But then I explained the plot and she approved. Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  3. Kristin says:

    Did you ever read a series of books by Betsy Byars about a character called Bingo Brown? He had a girlfriend called Jil! (with the exclamation point?) For some reason this entry reminded me of it because sometimes they got a little serious. Anyway, they were kind of great and I want to read them again!

  4. Elizabeth says:


    The girlfriend named Jil! was from a series of books about a kid named Matthew by Paula Danziger. I think the only one I ever read was Earth to Matthew. They were good, though!

    – Elizabeth

  5. Jane says:

    I think the book was The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown. Some kid wore a T-shirt to school and the shirt had a dirty word on it. So the school banned t-shirts with writing on them. Which was really hard on this one kid who only wore T-shirts that said “Rambo” on them. I believe he covered up the words with a piece of duct tape

    Anyway, this Bingo kid stages a “wear-in” and all the students wear shirts with slogans on them and the school reconsiders.

    There was also a bit where he decided he wanted a new look and discovered mousse.

    I think i read this book once, in the 7th grade when I was on the battle of the books team. I can tell you the whole plot, but almost nothing that I learned in College. Crazy

  6. Xerox says:

    I remember Bingo being visited at home by a girl while he was making dinner and telling her that he was cooking “chicken chests” because he was too embarrassed to say “breasts”.

  7. kat says:

    YES. I had forgotten about this book. I must have read it fifteen times. The part that stuck with me was when Kate was talking about her big feet (size 9) and I could totally relate (as I was also a big girl – and still am).

  8. Jennifer says:

    Too funny that you posted it. I was going to describe it in Lost and Found, and now I don’t have to! Thanks for the memory!

  9. Amber Tan says:

    I loved this book! Part of the story was how the two girls were “socially mis-matched” but when they get in trouble over the “dirty book” they end up becoming good friends.

    Maudie was the equivalent of Robin Wilson before she lost 50 lbs. in a weekend. And Kate was just an average kid who has a few popular friends who totally snub Maudie.

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