Series: The Puppy Pals
Author: Susan Hughes
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Meet Bailey, a playful yellow lab puppy!
It's a new school year and things haven't been great for Kat so far. She's being teased, and her best friend Maya is in a different class. But things start to look up when her Aunt Jenn opens a kennel and dog-grooming salon, and the girls are allowed to help out with a puppy named Bailey! But is the responsibility of watching someone else’s pup too much for Kat and Maya to handle?
Excerpt from Bailey: The Puppy Pals:
Kat was sitting on her front steps. Her eyes were closed. She was having her favorite puppy daydream. And it always ended the same…
Aidan’s running shoe nudged her leg, and Kat opened her eyes. As usual, her brother was listening to music. He pulled out one of his earbuds. “Come on, Kat,” he said. “Let’s go! We’re going to be late for school.”
Kat sighed. The daydream was over. She sent a mental message to the puppies:
She ran to catch up with Aidan. The sun was shining. A squirrel chattered at her from the branch of a chestnut tree.
“Do you think Mom and Dad will ever let me get a dog?” Kat asked her brother as they walked.
Aidan shrugged. “You’ve asked them a million times. They always say no.’”
“That’s because they travel so much for work. But I don’t!” Kat protested. “Andbe the one looking after the dog.”
Aidan bounced his basketball as he walked. “I don’t know, Kat. I think you should forget about it for now.”
Kat sighed. She knew he would say that. He didn’t care if they got a dog or not. Her parents both liked dogs, but she was only the only one who was truly dog crazy.
Kat and Aidan reached school just as the bell rang.
“Later, alligator,” Aidan said to Kat. He hurried over to the seventh and eighth grade entrance.
“See you soon, baboon!” Kat called after him.
She rushed across the playground. But she didn’t get in her lineup. Instead, Kat went over to the other fourth grade line.
“Maya!” she called. Her best friend hung back as her class made its way into the school.
“There you are, Kat-Nip! Late again!” Maya said with a grin.
Kat made a funny face back at her. Maya had called her “Kat-Nip” for as long as she could remember. “You love dogs but your name is Kat? How goofy!” she’d say. Maya often teased her, and Kat teased her back.
It was all in fun, since they had been best friends forever. Even though they lived on opposite sides of town, they had known each other since nursery school. They played soccer on the same team. They took swimming lessons together. Most of all, they talked about dogs together. Maya was probably the only person in the world who loved dogs as much as Kat.
Until this year, Maya and Kat had always been in the same class. But a few children had moved away over the summer. So Maya was put in the third-fourth grade split class, and Kat was put in the fourth-fifth grade split class.
The girls didn’t like it. Not one bit.
School had started last week. The first few days had been tough. Kat hoped it would be better this week, but it didn’t seem likely.
“Joke of the day: what does a mother dog call her pups when they come in from playing in the snow?” Kat asked.
Maya thought for a moment. “I don’t know. What?”
“I’ll tell you at recess!” Kat said, waggling her fingertips at her friend. She turned to run toward her lineup.
“Hey, not fair! Tell me now!” called Maya. “That’s torture!”
“Nope! Oh, and I have some really awesome news to tell you,” Kat called over her shoulder. “Puppy news!” she added, taunting her friend.
“Seriously? And you won’t tell me what it is until recess? You are horrible!” Maya put on her grumpy look, but she couldn’t hold it for long. Kat started to laugh, and Maya did too.
“See you!” Kat teased. She ran to the back of her own line which had just disappeared into the school.
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Best friends Kat and Maya love helping out at Tails Up! Groomers. The best part is helping to exercise the adorable puppies that stay there. When a sweet golden retriever puppy named Riley is boarded at the groomer, Kat and Maya couldn’t be more excited! Riley is super-sweet and friendly.
But when a new girl named Grace shows up in Kat’s class, she finds herself wishing Grace was as easy to get along with as Riley. Kat is disappointed to find herself paired up with Grace, who can’t seem to get that mean look off of her face! But is Grace unkind, or is she just lonely? Maybe Riley can help her figure it out!
Susan Hughes is a writer and editor, and has been writing children’s books and articles for nearly twenty years. She has received numerous nominations for Canadian children’s writing awards. She lives with her family in Toronto. Visit Susan at susanhughes.ca.