In this “bridging the gap” between picture book and chapter books, young readers will enjoy reading or listening to this book. Tippy Lemmey is a dog that barks and scares the children in the story when they ride their bikes by his yard.
Drawing Conclusions: The children draw the conclusion that Tippy is vicious because he barks, breaks the rope, and jumps the fence to chase them. When Leandra’s parents take her to visit the Lemmey’s to discuss her fear of the dog, she finds out that the dog is owned by a soldier serving in Korea and is being taken care of by the soldier’s parents.
There is a lot of action as the kids discover that dog-nappers are stealing dogs to sell them for cash, and they see Tippy being stolen. They really want to let it go and be happy he is gone, but then decide the right thing to do is to try and recue the dogs. The kids rescue the dogs and the dog-nappers get away, but the kids have gotten trapped in a raging river. Tippy returns the favor by running to get help for them.
There are several parallels about the war in Korea and the war they have with Tippy in trying to maneuver around Tippy’s yard without being chased when he jumps the fence.
For African American History month, this would be a great selection to read or at least read a portion of to your class.