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Hound Dog True

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  3,337 Ratings  ·  369 Reviews
A story about small acts of courage from the author of "A Crooked Kind of Perfect." "Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing." Custodial wisdom: Mattie Breen writes it all down. She has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his custodial apprentice at Mitchell P. Anderson Elementary School. One week until s ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Hmh Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Abigail About 150 pages to read and find out more hope you like the book.
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jubilation Lee
Poor Hound Dog True. It was a perfectly fine story, but since the author made the mistake of writing A Crooked Kind of Perfect as her debut novel, nothing else she writes will EVER BE AS GOOD OMG CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT I LOVE YOU!!!!

So, um, yeah.

There was that.

I did like it, though! Almost-fifth-grader Mattie makes her fifth move in as many years to a school where her Uncle Potluck works as a janitor. Uncle Potluck talks like the dad from Big Fish, but Mattie’s still at the point where she love
...more
Kate
Aug 11, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linda Urban has a gift for capturing the small things about a kid's life that matter. She understands that little things can mean everything...those tiny moments that the grown-ups shrug off can be something a ten-year-old carries around for years...and maybe forever.

HOUND DOG TRUE features Mattie Breen, a painfully shy girl who moves to a new town with her mom and apprentices herself to her Uncle Potluck, the school custodian, in the hopes that her studies of janitorial arts will allow her to
...more
Betsy
Jul 28, 2011 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s identifying with a work of children’s fiction and then there’s wondering if the author of the work has somehow discovered time travel and was able to observe your younger self. Such were my feelings upon picking up and reading Hound Dog True, the lastest from A Crooked Kind of Perfect’s Linda Urban. I don’t want to cast aspersions on Ms. Urban, and if she wants to use her highly developed time travel technology to spy upon my elementary years that is her business. Of course I appreciate ...more
katsok
Nov 26, 2011 katsok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stare at this blank screen, how to describe this book. Mattie and her mom have moved, again. This time they have moved in with her Uncle Potluck. While her mom seems a bit clueless as to who her daughter is, Uncle Potluck "gets" her. He is the janitor at the local elementary school and Mattie tags along with him while he prepares the building for a new school year. Uncle Potluck seems to one of those adults who has a bit of magic in him. He can spin an amazing story, speak to the moon, fix a d ...more
Melanie
Aug 03, 2016 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is it wrong to say I had a literary crush on Mattie's Uncle Potluck? He is so intelligent and kind. He's exactly what this main character needed in her life.
Paul  Hankins
Special characters like Mattie Breen come around now and then. . .please take some reading time to get to know her. She writes stories.
Barbara
Oct 30, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ncbla, writing
Once again, Mattie Breen and her mother have moved, and as a new school year approaches, Mattie dreads having to be the new girl in class once again. In order to avoid another painful introduction or try to find somewhere to eat during lunch, she has been following her Uncle Potluck around the school as he practices what he calls the Custodial Arts. She figures she'll just hang out with him or help him out. Mattie is quiet and shy, and prone to writing down her thoughts and creating stories in a ...more
Michael Scotto
Dec 15, 2011 Michael Scotto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Colby Sharp
Shelves: middle-grade
Such depth through such economy; not a single word is wasted or misplaced in this wonderful novel. I started it with a plan to read a few chapters and then go to sleep, and two hours later, I find myself not only having finished the whole book, but compelled to write about it lest it keep me up all night.

This is a small story about huge things. It spans not much time, and certainly not flashy in its plot or incident. But in Mattie, the protagonist, we witness such a stirring and true battle as s
...more
Elizabeth K.
I thought this book was weird, but can't really put my finger on why I didn't like it more. A shy girl and her mother move back to her mother's hometown, where they live with two uncles -- one of them I kept forgetting about because he's hardly ever in the story, and the other one who is a custodian at the school the girl will attend in the fall.

All the elements are pleasant enough, but they come together in strange ways. I know shy kids learning how to make friends is a common theme in literatu
...more
Hirondelle
Sep 27, 2011 Hirondelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
For such a short book, this is remarkably thought provoking. So much I have mulled for a couple days on what to say about it, and really still not sure. Its wonderfully written, one of those books where the meaning is often in the silences. I think it might be a great book to read aloud as well.

And I love love love Uncle Potluck. If any complaints is that I wish we had a little more of him and decisions he must make towards the ending - but then again its me, irrevocably an adult by now, who wa
...more
Alyse Erickson
In this book, by Linda Urban, the main character Mattie is a very shy young girl whom changes schools multiple times throughout her life and finds herself having a very hard time adjusting. When she finally changes to her final school, Mattie chooses not to try to make friends. Before She had moved, Mattie had some issues with bullies and making friends so she refuses to put herself back out there like that. So therefore, Mattie takes to her uncle, whom is the janitor for her school. On her down ...more
Manik Sukoco
Jan 20, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing that Linda Urban always does well is creating characters that live and breathe.
Mattie does that from page one. Mattie is a worrier and very shy to boot. She never seems to know what to say or when to say it, so starting over at another new school terrifies her. So she makes a plan. If she can be her Uncle Potluck's custodial apprentice she can avoid all the 'down' times when she would need to socialize with the other kids (recess, lunch, etc).
She starts keeping notes about everything
...more
Dolly
Apr 25, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books and parents reading with them
This is a sweet tale about fitting in and finding your voice. It's a fairly short tale and I really enjoyed listening to Catherine Taber narrate the audiobook during a gorgeous morning walk.

I love the poignancy of Mattie's thoughts compared to the things she actually says out loud and the difficulties she encounters making friends each time she moves in the middle of the school year.

Overall I think it is a very good story and it is ideal for tween readers.

interesting quote (from hardcover edi
...more
Andrea
While I was hoping for a story about "small acts of courage," the plot was watery and meandering and ultimately it was too easy to put down. DNF with 20 pages to go!!!
Aniya
Sep 14, 2015 Aniya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book that I read is called Hound Dog True.The book is about a girl name Mattie Breen,and her mother. They moved so many times, and this last time they moved with uncle Potluck. The one thing that Mattie was worried about was, that she wasn't going to make friends. The reason for that is because of what had happened at the last schools she attended. Luckily her school that she's going to her uncle Potluck is a janitor there. Mattie wanted her uncle to put her on as a custodial appreciate, bec ...more
Frezanda
Jun 13, 2012 Frezanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
It's a bit hard to get into this book at the beginning. But I guess the second half of the book somehow make it worth it. There is no big bang or drama but I felt elated by it. In the end I thought to myself, " Ahh, this girl is going to be fine. She can do it. Facing life with its difficulties."
Shannon
Dec 16, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so well-written. I can't even fully express why it's so perfect. It's the best example of subtle, strong writing that I've read in a long time.
Caroline
Occasionally I come across a real winner while book shopping at Barnes and Noble. This is one of them.

Mattie Mae is socially awkward, but inside her brain there are important things stewing. They used to stew in a yellow notebook, but then along came Star, so now her notebook is filled with all of her Custodial Wisdom notes, collected from Uncle Potluck. Uncle Potluck has made her a temporary Custodial Apprentice, to take up the time between when she and her mother moved (again) to live with him
...more
Barb Middleton
While Linda Urban does a great job creating interesting kooky characters who can make changing a lightbulb, fixing a leaky faucet, or installing doorknobs fun; I found this book a tad boring. It does have some great themes about making friends, believing in yourself, and finding what you are good at in life. Problem is it takes awhile getting there and I found it slow in the beginning. Sweet, but slow. Mattie is painfully shy and likes to spend her time with Uncle Potluck, a funny man who is a c ...more
Sarah W
Dec 05, 2011 Sarah W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mattie Breen's used to moving and leaving things behind. Her mom doesn't like owning more than can fit comfortably inside a pickup truck. At least this time the two of them are moving to a place where there's someone she likes-her Uncle Potluck.

Uncle Potluck is the custodian at the school where Mattie will soon be starting fifth grade. She's hoping he'll help her out with her plan. Mattie wants to be a custodial apprentice. Then she won't have to deal with lunch or recess. She won't have to deal
...more
Elizabeth Bergin
Oct 21, 2012 Elizabeth Bergin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: berginreviews
In "Hound Dog True", by Linda Urban, Mattie Breen has just moved and will soon be starting fifth grade at her fourth school. This year, though, it's at Mitchell P. Anderson Elementary School, where her Uncle Potluck is the janitor. Mattie has always been shy and reluctant to make friends, so she makes a plan to gather enough "custodial wisdom" in the week before school starts to become Uncle Potluck's custodial apprentice. She takes notes throughout the days and watches as Uncle Potluck fixes le ...more
Lori Redman
Mattie is a fifth grade girl who does not like to share secrets, and whose silence and shyness is often the cause of Mattie being teased. When she and her mother go to live with her Uncle Potluck, Mattie unwillingly and suspiciously makes a friend with a girl named Quincy.

I do enjoy the character of Mattie- the super shy, can't-find-the-words character that is not portrayed enough in children's books. Her quest to become brave in this book is quite realistic and enjoyable.

However, I found it to
...more
Brienz Wilkening
Apr 23, 2014 Brienz Wilkening rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 689
This story is about a little girl who moves a lot and again moves to a new home. She moves into her moms old house with her mom and uncle. She is very close with her uncle but is still very closed off and shy. She likes to write in her notebook, if no one else sees it, and she likes to work with her uncle. This book was an easy read, but also hard to follow sometimes. Throughout the whole book I was going back and forth on who I thought the narrator was. Sometimes it seemed like the little girl ...more
Liz Christensen
Apr 11, 2014 Liz Christensen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-my-class
I bought a set of this book from Scholastic for my class to use in book clubs, so I decided I needed to read it. I loved the story. I loved Mattie and Uncle Potluck. I loved how Mattie learned to be brave. I know some kids in my class who will really relate to this story.
Kirby
Sep 15, 2011 Kirby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love most about a Linda Urban book is the white space she leaves for me as a reader to enmesh myself in a story. She has really mastered that urge to explain many of us suffer from. I loved Mattie from the get-go and having suffered as the new kid myself almost every year of my growing up, I could definitely relate to her plan to avoid lunches and recess by earning the right to be her Uncle Potluck's custodial apprentice.

Linda notices the small things that make a huge difference in peopl
...more
Angela
Jan 19, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: smart kids
I love Linda Urban. A Crooked Kind of Perfect is such a gem of a book, and Hound Dog True is not far behind. The plot is good but not unique - girl can't make friends because her mother moves them every time the "going gets tough". But the writing is so, so good. Urban doesn't write down to kids. In fact, there's subtlety in story that she trusts kids will pick up on. I'd hand her books to every fifth grade girl coming out of the nearby elementary school if I could afford it.
Rekha
Mattie, who has moved a million times before, moves to town with her mom and latches on to her funny and understanding Uncle Potluck, the custodian at her elementary school. She decides that she wants to be a custodial apprentice, and writes down all the pieces of wisdom that Uncle Potluck doles out.

The thing that struck me the most was that Mattie lives in a working class world that doesn't get a lot of play in novels like this. All of the adults in Mattie's life don't have it easy, but they lo
...more
Lauren
Mar 21, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Shelley for encouraging me to stick with this middle grades book about a painfully shy girl. While it was a slow starter for me, it had gained a special place in my heart by the time I finished. I wish I had read this book as a kid. As the main character realizes--the assumptions we make regarding what other people are thinking and feeling can be so far off, causing all kinds of miscommunication and hurt feelings. What a powerful lesson for a girl to learn as she embarks on those tw ...more
Spring Baxter
For a local mother and daughter book club we started out with "Hound Dog True." My daughter is 10 years old and I assumed this would be a wonderful read for us based on the cover. Sadly, neither of us like the book very much.

Granted, the characters were lovely and easy to relate too, but it didn't make up for the odd writing and lack of climaxes. We actually dreaded having to finish this book and nearly didn't. But we persevered and made it through.

The main character is a very shy girl with ma
...more
Ashley Saunders
Urban, L. (2011) Hound dog true. New York. Harcourt Children's Books.

Kirkus Starred Reviewed

Fiction Choice: Contemporary Realism

Mattie is a young girl that seems to always be the "new girl" at schools because she bounces around from place to place with her mother. One of her biggest struggles is how shy she is. Instead of wanting to socialize with her new classmates she ends up spending her time helping her uncle who is the janitor for the school. Mattie learns that her uncle really understands
...more
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This was from the About Me section at Linda Urban's website.


I was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in a suburban house that looked like all the others on my street. Sometimes I liked that sameness. It made me feel normal, when I worried I wasn’t.

Other times, though, I wanted to be different — to shine, to have people see me as special. I tried ballet dancing and singing and playing musical in
...more
More about Linda Urban...

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“You can't have brave without scared.” 13 likes
“Fix things before they get too big for fixing.” 7 likes
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