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Mogie: The Heart of the House

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  273 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Mogie is a real-life Labradoodle with a special talent: he always knows just what a sick kid needs! Get to know this passionate pup with this story by a Newbery Honoree.

Give that dog a puddle and he'd splash. Give him a whistle and he'd roll over. Give him a rule and he'd break it.

One day a passel of puppies was born. Each puppy was designated for a Very Important Job, lik
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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47th out of 125 books — 98 voters
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11th out of 167 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 27, 2014 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: for animal and dog lovers
Shelves: picture-book, dog, sick
A sweet story about a dog who is the heart of the Ronald McDonald House.

About a boy who gets sick and goes to the Ronald McDonald house and a dog who failed as a service dog, failed as a search and rescue dog, failed as a show dog and broke every rule. One day he broke the Ronald McDonald rule of no dogs and makes friends with Gage. Gage gets better and leaves. While Mogie misses Gage, he now has Antonia...

Jenny Christen

Share this line from the story: "Give that dog a puddle and he’d splash. Give him a whistle and he’d roll over. Give him a rule and he’d break it." Today we are going to read a story called Mogie. Mogie is a dog that can relate to sick children and has passion for those children based on what they need. In your writer's notebooks, write down 3 ways in which Mogie could be helpful to sick children. Think about how those might make the children feel. Also think about how this could connect
Feb 20, 2014 Brandy rated it it was amazing
A celebration of Mogie and the love he bring to sick children. Who doesn't love dog books??
Jun 25, 2014 Alyson rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My first thought was "this is The Fault in Our Stars for the preschool set. Well I thought that as I wiped the tears away. It is not too much of a tearjerker though, just heartwarming enough. I loved that the very cartoonish illustrations of Mogie actually looks just like the photo of the real Mogie on the back cover.
Michele Knott
Jul 23, 2014 Michele Knott rated it it was amazing
This book is a special one for me. It's about Mogie, the dog whose special talent was the ability to know which person needed cheering up, a doggie kiss, or some quiet company at a Ronald McDonald House in Houston.
My daughter requires surgeries that has us staying in a different state than the one we live in for an extended amount of time. During her first surgery we stayed in a house that is similar to a Ronald McDonald House and the benefits of having people around and a place to stay that wa
Taurean Watkins
Jan 22, 2015 Taurean Watkins rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of "The One and Only Ivan"
Kathi Appelt, while best known for her novels "The Underneath“ and the “The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp“

(A national Book Award Finalist) she’s also written numerous picture books, and this is the first your lit. rat has read, and definitely NOT the last!

Illustrator Marc Rosenthal’s charming illustrations uses minimal background detail to highlight our titular furry friend as he offers a friendly paw to one of the many children who misses the days when he ran free in the great outdoors.

This is the first picture book on the subject of service dogs (from the dog's perspective) that I've ever seen. It's bright and upbeat without being syrupy, and even teaches the distinctions between the classes of service dogs. (Also, it accomplishes this while positively representing/portraying the Ronald-McDonald-House-type facility and, thus, cleverly,dovetailing in the concept of therapy dogs - which Mogie is - without becoming didactic or long-winded. Quite a feat).

Marc Rosenthal's primary-
Jasmine Yanich
In this realistic fiction book, Mogie the dog, is good at breaking all of the rules in the house where he lived. While the other dogs were sent out as service dogs, or search and rescue dogs, or even show dogs, Mogie did not fit in with any of them. One day he wondered into the Ronald McDonald house in the city and found Gage. Gage was a boy who was sick and was staying in the Ronald McDonald house to try and get better. Mogie broke the rules when he entered the house because there were no dogs ...more
Katelyn Krigbaum
Sep 09, 2014 Katelyn Krigbaum rated it it was amazing
The characters in the book are very strong and believable. This book brings out the idea of illness and how it an affect people and children especially. Mogie could be a symbol of hope for those who are sick. Throughout the book he helps children get back to themselves and they fight to get better from whatever illness it could be. The theme of this book is to not give up who you are in times of trial; things can get better when you have the right attitude. The book take place at a hospital in ...more
Jun 27, 2014 Kimberly rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens
Did I miss something? How does a dog, who does not cut it as a service dog, even get let in and ends up staying at a Ronald McDonald house that does not allow dogs? According to the inside cover (which is easier to understand than the actual story on the pages), Mogie does not follow the rules and breaks the no dogs rule by just walking in; however, how does he end up staying and not being shooed out? He has a history of misbehaving and is completely ignored by the kid he walks up to. At what po ...more
Stephanie Sapp
Apr 11, 2014 Stephanie Sapp rated it it was amazing
I dare you to read it without choking up. An adorable and touching storybook.
Kathi Appelt says she spent two months visiting, watching and interviewing those who lived at the Ronald McDonald house in Houston where Mogie lives. It's a true "biography" of a special dog who has the gift of understanding what people (children and adults) need. Perhaps it's a quiet leaning in, perhaps it's a lick on the hand or cheek? She leads us into the story by showing that really, no one wanted a dog at this place, but when Mogie arrived, and seeming to magically help a child 'get his m ...more
May 24, 2016 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
This book was ok. I didn't realize it was about a dog that helps sick kids. I liked the story pattern of how the text was formatted and such between Gage and Mogie. I also liked how it showed that Mogie helped Gage get better. Dogs are amazing and bring so much hope and love to everyone --so special.

On the back of the book, they have a real picture of Mogie and there are some explanations about him living at the Ronald McDonald House.

With my daughter being so young, she doesn't really need to b
Jun 24, 2014 Margie rated it it was amazing
How is it they are in a heartbeat able to discern friend or foe? How is it they can sense a person's mood without a single conversational exchange? Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Underneath and illustrator Marc Rosenthal, I Must Have Bobo!, I'll Save You Bobo! and Bobo the Sailor Man!, combine their significant talents in a newly released title, Mogie: The Heart of the House (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division). ...more
Kristen I
Dec 17, 2014 Kristen I rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 422-books
Two stories collide when a young boy gets sick and loses his "mojo" and a dog is not cut out for any of the jobs his siblings do. The boy, Gage, is taken to the Ronald McDonald house- a very special house in the middle of a big city. The one rule of the house is NO Puppies! However, one day Mogie, the dog, wanders into the house and immediately makes his way over to the sad little boy. Mogie does everything he can to make Gage feel better and keep him company. Eventually he is well enough to lea ...more
Courtney Kearns
Jul 22, 2015 Courtney Kearns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grad-class
Selection: Free Choice

Mogie is a heartwarming story about a service dog at The Ronald McDonald House in Houston. Mogie failed at other jobs but found the "right" one by helping little boys and girls who were ill. He friends a particular patient named, Gage who is upset because he can't do all of the things he used to do. Mogie helps Gage become happier by being a companion to him.

My 2nd graders responded extremely well to this story and you could see the empathy they felt for the characters. I b
Courtney Torrent
Feb 16, 2016 Courtney Torrent rated it liked it
This story has a great message to teach to students. I really like that it is based on a true story. It would make a great example of a story that is nonfiction but that is not full of facts and boring. I never liked when my teacher told us we were going to read nonfiction, but this one I would have liked. I believe that this story could make for some good writing assignments... Also, I really like the illustrations. The drawings are somewhat flowy and fit the mood of the story.
Feb 13, 2015 Ina rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime-reads
A sweet tale of a dog, who unlike his siblings, failed at being a service dog, a search and rescue dog, and a show dog. But this free spirited, fun loving dog finds his calling by helping heal kids at the Ronald McDonald House. Turns out, Mogie has a very special talent: identifying which sick child will benefit most from his company and helping that child get back his or her "mojo." Based on a true story, with marvelous illustrations and an author note.
High Plains Library District
Jun 27, 2014 High Plains Library District rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jan, children
Oh! Sniff, sniff...sigh. Mogie: The Heart of the House just arrived at my desk and I couldn't resist giving it a read. It's about a sweet, "rule-breaking, puddle-splashing" puppy dog who came to live at the Ronald McDonald House. Mogie is real and does, indeed, live at a Ronald McDonald House. He is helping to change the way that sick children are cared for while they recover from their illnesses. He's a smart cookie and knows just what to do for the children in his "care". Share this with your ...more
Jeff Harris
Jul 07, 2016 Jeff Harris rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a sweet story about a therapy dog that comes to live in a Ronald McDonald House where he helps children battling grave illnesses to regain the hope they had lost and lead them on the road to recovery with his constant companionship. I'm glad that this is up for Missouri's Show-Me Award this year, and I will look forward to reading it to the first and second graders that visit my library!
Aug 20, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it
Mogie is a rambunctious dog who finds his way into the Ronald McDonald house for sick kids. He is just what one sick little boy needs to remind him what it was like before. Mogie helps that kid get back on his feet, but there are always other sick kids to help. This was a truly beautiful story. I loved the illustrations and the fact that it is based on fact. Definitely a winner.
Aug 14, 2015 Elaine rated it really liked it
Mogie appears to be a clumsy dog with a big, sweet heart. Though his siblings have accomplished specialized training, Mogie will hopefully find his own special niche. A great & heartwarming story with nice watercolor illustrations which suits the story line. I think the story is better suited for older preschooler and early elementary age readers and story time audiences.
This is a nice picture book to teach young readers about service dogs and how they help kids in places like the Ronald McDonald House. In a world where we work to teach children about empathy and kindness, this is a book that will touch even very young readers. The illustrations, rendered in pencil and charcoal and digitally, do an awesome job of showing readers what the Ronald McDonald House is and what it's like.
Sweet and heartwarming book. I think it could've been a little more direct on what the house was and why the kids were there. I caught on eventually but not right away, and some kids may struggle with connecting a few of the dots. I would've liked a little more detail. Strong idea for a book. Good topics for kids to think about.
Feb 24, 2016 Lacey rated it it was amazing
A sweet story about a dog who took it upon himself to help sick kids get better. And the best's based of a real dog named Mogie who lives at the Ronald McDonald House Houston. I'm not sure if this wonderful dog is still around, something to look up, but my daughter and I loved the story! Cute illustrations too!
Karen Arendt
Jul 19, 2014 Karen Arendt rated it really liked it
Based on a true story of a dog named Mogie who helps children at a Ronald McDonald house in Houston. Mogie is the perfect therapy dog for children with serious illnesses. The illustrations are lively and colorful. The story shows Mogie's true interest is only the children and making them feel better.
Mar 17, 2016 Jen rated it it was amazing
I loved how this story unfolded. Especially for Mogie, who wasn't cut out to be a service dog, or do search and rescue or be a show dog. What a wonderful way to teach children about the Ronald McDonald House while illustrating that each of us (canine and human) has extraordinary abilities.
Oct 30, 2014 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Mogie isn't good for anything that he was bred for, but he has a hidden talent...Therapy Dog! Loved this book about Mogie's life and mission. A good intro into therapy dogs for kids, but also to intro for kids re: catastrophic illnesses in other kids/compassion.

Loved this book!
Meghan Hunt
Sep 18, 2014 Meghan Hunt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jp-picture-books
I highly recommend this book to dog lovers. The illustrations are amazing and the story is thoughtful and sweet. Mogie might not share any of the same talents as his brothers and sisters, but he has his own special and important gift, cheering up kids at the Ronald McDonald house.
Carol Royce Owen
Oct 12, 2014 Carol Royce Owen rated it it was amazing
No surprise that this book is wonderful! A great addition to my collection of books about disabilities. No surprise that my students are loving it and want to know more and more about Mogie. Fortunately, we were able to find information on the Internet.
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Lives in College Station, TX with husband Ken and four adorable cats.

Two sons, both musicians.

Serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.
More about Kathi Appelt...

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