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The Last Dogs: Journey's End



Last updated Monday, April 4, 2016

Author: Christopher Holt
Illustrator: Allen Douglas
Date of Publication: 2014
ISBN: 0316200077
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2016

Synopsis: Canine heroes Max, Rocky, and Gizmo return in this exciting series finale! As the trio travel south, following a trail of beacons left by Dr. Lynn, they encounter a stampede of horses. The horses urge the dogs to turn back, warning about a "silver wall of doom" that lies ahead. But the warning only serves to motivate Max. Could this be the wall from his dreams? The wall keeping Max from his family? Helped by animals along the way -- including bats and armadillos -- the dogs find themselves deep in the desert, where they face a new enemy: coyotes. They aren't the only danger, though. Dolph and his wolf pack lie in wait -- poised for a final showdown.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you, or someone you know, have a dog? What kind?
•  What kind of journey do you think the dogs are on?
•  What other animals are on the cover?

Vocabulary

•  Scrabbling- to move the hands or feet in an awkward and hurried way
•  Lolling- to hang or bend loosely
•  Mare- an adult female horse
•  Colt- a young male horse
•  Fluorescent- very bright
•  Unrelenting- not slowing down, stopping, or growing weaker
•  Acrid- bitter and unpleasant in taste or smell

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What are the names of the dogs? What kind are they?
•  Who are they trying to find?
•  Why were the horses stampeding?
•  Where do Gizmo, Rocky, and Max hide from the hurricane?
•  Do hurricanes happen in California? Where do they usually happen?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a dog using a paper plate or paper bag. Draw the eyes and mouth of the dog on the plate or bag. Use construction paper to cut out ears, nose, and a tongue and glue. If craft sticks are available you can use those to make the body of a dog, and construction paper to cut out ears, tail, tongue, and feet. See Pinterest for samples.
•  Make a dog mask and attach with string.
•  Check out our April craft ideas on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/april-2016-animal-crafts/

Special activities:
•  Make a list of different types of dogs.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!