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Hound Dog True

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,063 ratings  ·  422 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 school
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Harcourt Children's Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.81  · 
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 ·  4,063 ratings  ·  422 reviews

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Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Elizabeth K.
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-new-reads
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
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Michael Scotto
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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."
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!!!
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think Hound dog true was a interesting book because a girl named Mattie had to face her fears . That is part of the reason why i like this book . Another reason is because Mattie meets friends and her friends can model good actions for young students that are currently learning how to read . It also has challenging words for older people who are pros at reading . Also the length of the book is pretty good for a average readers even though they have challenging words , it is still fun to learn ...more
Clara Herrera
I think this book was an good book to start off the year.This book is about a girl who is shy and moves to different schools and towns.At school it is very hard for her to have a friend and to speak up in front of the class room. When her uncle meets a girl named Quincey, Mattie immediately says that she does not want to hang out with a person who is an older grade. When they invite her to her house she quickly hides from her.Later Mattie has to come out of her room and had to meet Quncey. It w ...more
Natalie Tyree
This is one of my favorite book it is one of my favorite books because it has a lot of humor in it from Mattie and from uncle potluck the one thing i that i think is funny from Mattie and uncle potluck is that Mattie will not go talk to Quincy because she is older than her and thinks she is a bra wearing girl .The thing from uncle potluck is that he is always trying to be just a funny person to me and i think he is a funny person.That is why i like hound dog true.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely, lovely, lovely. The atmosphere of this story is so wonderful and all the relationships are so crisp and beautifully rendered. It's a slightly removed version of our world that doesn't deny the realities of cruel children and cruel circumstances, but gives us a rounded edge to soften the cruelty and the words to come to grips with it.
Nevaeha Jewell
The book Hound Dog True is about a girl named Mattie she is a very shy girl and she loves her Uncle Potluck he is her school janitor and she likes to clean the school with him but he hurt his knee and now she doesn't want to be at school any more and she does not like a girl named Quincy Sweet because she is a teenager. The book is a realistic fiction chapter book for grades 3-5.
Jada Coburn
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good.
Kaitlyn Roberts
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hound Dog True is a very mixed emotional book. I personally loved it, I felt bad for Mattie when things didn't go right, but I was happy for putting in her heart to peruse her dreams.
Vivian Lahey
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is about a girl named Mattie. She is in 5th grade. I would recamend this book for 5th and 4th grade. I would recomed this for ages 8 to 12. This book is i great book for classies and stundents to read at home.
Marisol Tejeda
The book is great because It about this girl name Mattie and her uncle potluck and Mattie is very shy. There is an other girl name Quincy that Mattie thinks that she is too old and Mattie think she doesn't want too be friends with her.I like it because it`s interesting and kinda funny. ...more
Blake Allgood
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think Hound Dog True was a good book.I think it was good because Mattie was so nervous of her new school. She always cared what others always think and uncle potluck always tried to change that but he confident.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
Linda urban is such an amazing writer 💗
Hound dog true is that i learn is Mattie and Uncle potluck that they talk.Quincy is a person who
is a bad person and she stole money . Mattie is thanking of the school that she got in bares
and Mattie tells uncle potluck he says funny thanks.
Anthonygrubbs negal
i don't like is it just talks about unimportant stuff.
she talks about mo... A BUTTON who whats to know about a button.
anyways i giver this book a 2 stare rating.⭐⭐
Alyse Erickson
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: classroom-books
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
Barb Middleton
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic
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
Elizabeth Bergin
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, ncbla
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
Manik Sukoco
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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“You can't have brave without scared.” 14 likes
“Fix things before they get too big for fixing.” 8 likes
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