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Letters to Leo

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The joys and trials of fourth grade - and of life with her father now that her mother is gone - play out in charming letters from Annie to her dog, Leo.

Annie Rossi never, ever thought her father would let her have a dog. But now that he’s finally given in, she’s found the perfect ear for the stories of her day. She just writes them in a notebook hidden under the bed and re
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Candlewick
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  268 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Corinne Gause
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-talk
This is a very sweet book about a 4th grade girl names Annie. She is being raised by her father, her mother having passed a couple of years earlier. The book is a compilation of letters that Annie has written to her new dog, Leo. She writes about the daily dramas and daily troubles of a fourth grader. It truly feels as if a 10-year-old girl has written these letters. Each of the letters is accompanied by a sketch that she has drawn in order to illustrate that specific letter. Another fun plot po ...more
Jenna Knepp
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it
It wasn't the best it ended kind of stupid but was a nice read ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book immensely. It would be a really great read out loud for 3rd or 4th grade. Written by someone who really knows kids. The illustrations are fantastic! (dog diagram) Penciled realistic. The different fonts really help the story. The vocabulary is strong! vivacious, catastrophe

About a girl who gets a dog. She soon starts writing letters to him.

ex. (pg 26)" Catastrophe #1 ( Fractions) Mrs. B gave back our math tests about dividing fractions and was hoping for 100%. No luck. "
Heather Penner
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg, contemporary
Adorable little story. This is apparently a sequel, but it worked just fine as a stand-alone.

Cheerful, irrepressible Annie writes little notes to her new dog. She comments on her father, her teachers, and wanting to stay home alone without a babysitter (except maybe she doesn't!) all while navigating 4th grade.

Full of humor and love.
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book -- thank you to PJ Library -- Our Way programme. Deals with the loss of a parent in such a sensitive way. Illustrations are adorable and characters are engaging. Highly recommend for adults and youngsters.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is the awesomest thing ever
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A little girl writing letters to her dog! How sweet! Yes, Leo is her dog!
Inhabiting Books
Oct 22, 2012 added it
Shelves: 2012
Exuberant, opinionated Annie writes letters to her new dog Leo, that her father has allowed her to keep, despite his aversion to dogs. Through Annie's letters, which function as a diary of sorts, we see life through a fourth-grade girl's eyes. We learn that her mother died when she was very young, her father is apparantly worry-prone, and she's not liking fourth grade and her unsympathetic teacher (to whom she privately assigns some less than flattering nick-names). She longs to be back in third ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Annie lives with her dad and her new dog, Leo, whom her father has allowed her to keep despite the fact that he is not fond of dogs. From the moment Leo arrives, Annie writes letters to him, first about his welcome into the family and the behaviors he will need to learn, but later about everything on her mind, including her strict new teacher, her former beloved teacher, and her newfound interest in poetry.

As much as I enjoyed this sweet story, I’ll be the first to admit that not much about it i
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Letters to Leo is the story of a young girl, Annie who writes a series of letters to her dog.
The story begins introducing the reader to Annie, Annie’s father and Leo, her dog. It explains how her dad dislikes dogs but how she begged and pleaded to have this dog. Through the letters, we learn more about Annie’s day-to-day life. We learn that Annie has a great admiration for her third grade teacher Miss Meadows. With time, we learn that Annie’s mother passed away and her dad can be on the shy side
Apr 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: dog
Letters to Leo, by Amy Hest (Candlewick Press, 2012, 154 pages, $14.99, ages 8-12)

A fourth-grade girl wants a dog – how typical! Less typical is the story: Annie lives in New York City with her absent-minded professor dad and finally, finally gets a dog! Yippy skippy!

Annie writes to her dog, Leo, in a journal (hence, the title – Letters to Leo) and reads to Leo every night from the journal. Leo is a good listener, just like Annie loved to listen to her mother read at night.

Remember fourth grade?
Fourth grade is nowhere near as enjoyable as third grade was, and Annie Rossi struggles through the days, some memorable, others miserable. One good part of the year, though, is her new dog Leo, to whom she writes letters over the course of the book, starting in November and ending in July. She describes herself at her best, when she's being kind to another classmate, and at her worst, when her admonishments cause her father to ride his bicycle too fast, resulting in a crash. Most of all, she mi ...more
Patricia Powell
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Summer is here. Yahoo. Time to play. Time to read. You don’t HAVE to read, you GET to read. These two 150 page novels, liberally sprinkled with black and white illustrations can keep younger middle grade readers reading this summer.
In “Letters to Leo” by Amy Hest (Candlewick 2012), 4th grader, Annie Rossi writes a diary to her dog, Leo. Annie is an opinionated, loveable 4th grader. She feels the injustice of the world in a high-spirited and entertaining manner. All those rules—no eating in the
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amy Hest continues the life of Annie Rossi that began in the poignant book, Remembering Mrs. Rossi. Annie's in 4th grade now, and differences can be seen in her new ability to be more patient with friends. She gets angry sometimes when she doesn't get her way, but she handles the feeling well. There are sad moments when Annie shows clearly that losing her mother still can fill her mind, but they are fewer in this story. The book is told in letters to Leo, Annie's new dog, which she had fervently ...more
Ms. Yingling
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Annie is glad that she has a new puppy, and she's bound and determined that he will be a good dog for her father, who is a bit less than thrilled. Since Annie likes to write a lot, she writes advice, poems, etc. to Leo in order to make sense of her fourth grade year. Her teacher is a little mean (and expecting a baby) and not nearly as nice as her teacher last year, Ms. Meadows, whom she hopes will be interested in her father, since her mother has passed away. Her friend Jean-Marie moves to New ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
My 6 year old daughter was reading this book. About a fourth grader, Annie, who writes letters to her new dog Leo, telling him about her day. The book reads more like a diary, with Annie telling Leo about the events of her day. Most of the words in the book are sight words used for younger readers. On average there are 2 more difficult words on each page that are used repetitively so the child learns new words. My daughter enjoyed reading the book. The first 50 pages or so are slow starting and ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
A story of a young girl named Annie, this book is written through a series of letters she writes to her dog. The story begins introducing the reader to Annie, her father, and Leo the dog. It explains how her dad dislikes dogs yet Annie begged and pleaded for her dog. Through the letters we learn about Annie's day to day life. Also, we learn about Annie's admination for her teacher, that her mother passed away, and her father is shy. Annie reveals all of this to her dog, as well as expectations s ...more
Jennie Machines
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book absolutely touched my heart. I'm not sure if it was because this only child's best friend is her dog Leo, because her mother also passed away when she was little, because she is a girl being raised by her father or a nice mix of all the these factors that are similar to my own life that made me enthralled with this book.

From the first list in the book in which Annie tells Leo how to be a perfect dog, I knew I was going to be smitten with this book. "2. Pretend my father is your best fr
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Though a follow-up to Remembering Mrs. Rossi, this quick children's novel stands perfectly well on its own. Annie really, really wants a dog of her own and finally manages to persuade her father to adopt the ever-charming Leo. In a series of letters to her beloved pet, Annie gives advice about how to be a good pet, describes her experiences in school, and highlights her elementary school friendships.

A great read in letter format for students in grades 2 - 4, depending on reading level. I do thi
Kimberly Bower MLIS (gladeslibrarian)
3/5 stars. Letters to Leo chronicles the life and times of a fourth-grade girl through letters she writes to her dog, Leo. I'm not head-over-heels in love with it, but it would appeal to some readers. The target audience seems to be middle to upper-middle class city girls who are cared for by au pairs and have the means to take their dogs to the groomers. Or, with those who dream of that sort of lifestyle. As expected with this writing format, the artwork is filled with hearts, flowers and pictu ...more
Letters to Leo is a story told through letters a 4th grade girl namd Annie writes to her dog (they're kind of like diary entries) detailing her school and home life. One of my favorite entries is from March 30th: "I used to like fourth-grade science, but not anymore. It's because of Chapter 7. 'Our Amazing Human Body.' I hate saying all those human body part words...out loud in school! Just to be sure I don't say them, I don't raise my hand...Mrs. Meanest called on my anyway, and I had to say 'l ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-3rd-grade
Cute story in letter form told from the perspective of a 4th grade girl living in NYC and going to public school. Her mother passed away (we don't know when but Annie has lots of memories of her), her father is a professor and they just adopted a dog, Leo. Not that difficult to read -- lots of illustrations -- the author seems to have a good insight into how a 4th grader's mind works, although Annie sometimes comes off as very young. The book takes her through her entire 4th grade year, and we l ...more
Rachel Barrios
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about fourth grader, Annie Rossi, who gets a new dog, Leo, whom she is very excited about. The whole book is a diary of letters to Leo about how excited she is and the adventures she goes on with Leo. These diary entries of admiration to Leo quickly turn into letters of Annie's everyday struggles. She talks about getting glasses, her bad days at school, arguments with her father, and shortly after, how she lost her mother. Annie's father isn't too fond of Leo or dogs in general and ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't realize until after reading this that it is the second book about Annie Rossi; it's fine to read this one first. Annie's dad has reluctantly agreed to adopt a puppy, and the book is letter's Annie writes (and reads) to Leo, the dog. It is very sweet, and nicely illustrated with drawings that really help express Annie and Leo's characters. A happy ending for the family is pretty much promised at the end! ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mock-newberry

Sequel to Remembering Mrs. Rossi, Annie is back and this time her father finally lets her get a dog. The fourth grader copes with life by writing letters to Leo and then reading them to him at night, just like her Mom used to read to her. Annie’s problems are typical, boys, school, best friend moving away. We learn about the other characters in the book through Annie’s voice.
I liked this book and can see many of my students enjoying this.
A cute little book. I'm usually game for anything about a dog, no matter if it's an adult book or a kid's book. :) Annie writes to her new dog, Leo, like a journal of sorts. She tells him everything about her life. I thought the voice of the main character was very accurate for a fourth grader, and I loved how Annie always worried about being a good and nice person. I laughed out loud when Annie kept referring to her late-30s father as an "elderly parent"! ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
*I won this through Goodreads First Reads*

This book is absolutely adorable. The main character, Annie is a cute character who loves her new dog, Leo. Little kids will absolutely adore this book, because it's funny and easy to read. My little sister loved this because she said, quote "The photos are nice and I like Annie. Can we get a puppy like Leo?"
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I only vaguely remember the book Remembering Mrs. Rossi, so I think readers who haven't yet met Annie will be just fine. (They may want to go back and read the other book later, though!) I love Annie's letters to her new dog, Leo, as well as her homework assignments and other notes. Annie will very likely appeal to fans of Sara Pennypacker's Clementine. ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: jf
nice book. as another reviewer stated would be good for kids who like Clementine. Did not read the first book, Rememebering Mrs. Rossi, and I was not lost. Mrs. Rossi appears to be "deeper" in subject matter and geared to an older audience. This is great for 3grade. Story told in letters to the dog. Main character in 4th grade. ...more
Jen Ferry
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
In the charming book Letters to Leo, Annie tells us her story through letters to her dog. Annie lives in New York with her father and her new dog, Leo. Through her letters we find out about her likes and dislikes, what makes her tick, and how much Leo means to her life. This is the perfect chapter book for kids who have moved beyond beginning chapter books.
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Amy Hest is a three-time winner of the Christopher Medal and winner of the BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Award. She lives in New York City.

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