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Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School
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Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School

(Ike LaRue)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  7,848 ratings  ·  315 reviews
When Ike Larue is "imprisoned" at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, he tries everything to get sent home--weepy letters to his owner, even illness. In reality, Brotweiler is more like camp than prison, but still, Ike's not cut out for life w/o Mrs. Larue & his creature comforts. Finally, he runs away only to find himself back in Snort City--just in time to save Mrs. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Scholastic Press (first published 2002)
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,848 ratings  ·  315 reviews

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Lisa Vegan
This book could have been incredibly hilarious, and while for me it didn’t quite make it to that level, I thought it was really cute and funny. The illustrations are great: in color for reality and the alternate scenes, as told by Ike the dog, are in black & white. I love the words that are part of the pictures, and especially loved the chart diagnosis on Ike’s infirmary bed. Anybody who knows and loves dogs will recognize some doggy behaviors and thought processes here, even though Ike is h ...more
(NS) Laura Jackson
Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ike is a rambunctious dog that has been sent away, by his owner, to obedience school. Ike finds himself at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy because of his bad behavior at home. Ike wants nothing more than to go back home to his owner Mrs. LaRue. So he decides to begin writing letters to his owner describing his experiences at the obedience school. As Ike writes his letters, he stretches the truth, in describing how horrible his experiences are at the Canine Academy. But because of the wonderfu ...more
Lisa  Skripps
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School, by Mark Teague, is a playful story about Ike, a misunderstood puppy. Ike was sent to the Brotweiler Canine Academy by his owner Mrs. LaRue. Ike writes letter after letter to Mrs. LaRue explaining the horrific treatment he is receiving at the academy. However, the intricate illustrations suggest otherwise. For example, when Ike writes about being sent to solitary confinement in a cell, there is a picture of him a nice woman giving all of the dogs tr ...more
Katherine Austin
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-4050
1) Book summary, in your own words (3 pts)
-Ike LaRue is a little dog who has been sent to obedience school, or if you ask him, prison. He absolutely hates it and sends letter to his owner, Mrs. LaRue, pleading desperately to let him leave. He misses everything about home. Eventually, Ike escapes obedience school just in time to save his owner from a horrible accident.
2) Grade level, interest level, lexile (1 pt)
-1st-3rd grade.
3) Appropriate classroom use (subject area) (1 pt)
-Entertainment read
Cassandra Lemieux
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summaries
Summary: Mrs. LaRue sends her dog, Ike, away to an obedience school. Ike sends Mrs. LaRue letters each day explaining how "awful" it is at this school. Ike threatens to run away from the school and become a stray dog, but things don't turn out as great as he thinks.

Grade level: 3-4

Appropriate classroom use: English

Students who may benefit: Students who like bright detailed pictures and who like dogs would enjoy this humorous book.

Small group use: This would be a good book for children to pass a
Betty Ortega
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
* Book Summary
Ike is a puppy who has been sent to obedience school because he has behavioral issues, while in the obedience school he refuses to listen and writes letters to his owner every day. Mrs. Larue refuses to see him but writes back to him. Eventually, Ike decides to escape the school but doesn't know if he's returning to Mrs. Larue's home.

Book of the Year Award: Children's Illustrated

* Grade Level/ Interest level

* Appropriate Classroom Use
I would use this book when l
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good book that showed there are two sides to every story.
Nancy (Colorado)
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was used for a reading lesson on the skills of asking questions and drawing conclusions.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! My third graders really enjoyed the book!
Hannah Barnes
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Dear Mrs. LaRue is an epistolary book comprised of letters sent to Mrs. LaRue from her dog Ike who is currently residing at obedience school. Ike sends Mrs. LaRue daily letters about how much he dislikes his obedience school. He also explains that it was a mistake for her to send him there and that she should come and get him right away. No one expects what Ike will do when Mrs. LaRue does not come to get him.

Evaluation: This is an exceptionally good book to teach students about writin
Lauren Kramer
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dear Mrs. LaRue Letters from Obedience School written and illustrated by Mark Teague tells the tale of a misunderstood pooch, Ike. After a series of unfortunate events, Mrs. LaRue decides to send Ike to the Brotweiler Canine Academy for obedience training.

Ike sends Mrs. LaRue letters daily describing the horrible conditions that he is in. He relentlessly pleads his case requesting to come home immediately. Will Ike ever learn how to be a good dog? Will Mrs. LaRue ever forgive Ike for his transgr
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
This is a fun book in which a wire fox terrier, Ike La Rue, is sent to obedience school after ruining Mrs. La Rue's coat. Ike writes letters home detailing the horrible conditions at the school. Color pictures juxtapose reality with Ike's melodramatic descriptions.

This can be used to introduce and have children practice letter writing, as well as comparing and contrasting Ike's fiction with his reality. Primary students as well as secondary students can benefit from this book.
Mary Train
Jan 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
If you're an adult, this book is humorous and clever. If you're a kid, this book is unaccessible and confusing...and a big let-down. I know many reviewers would disagree with me, but kids don't lie!
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was funny! I don't think that younger kids will appreciate it as much, since there's a lot of vocabulary that they won't understand. So I recommend this for the older kids. Like, 9 or 10 years old.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cute little story that would be a great lesson on perspective and persuasive word choice.
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I think that this book is very funny and the dog thinks that this school is very bad.
Lindsey Rick
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Persuasive letter mentor text
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School" is a cute story about a dog named Ike that has been placed in obedience school against his wishes. At home, he has been chasing cats, eating food he isn't supposed to, and pulling his owner down while on walks. At school, Ike writes letters to Mrs. LaRue about how he feels he has been unjustly put in this school, and that he will do anything to get out of it. Mrs. LaRue ignores his letters though, as she knows that this school is what is best for ...more
Adams Eagles
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

Veronica A.

Mrs.LaRue enrolled Ike to an academy because he was stealing food from the counter table. Ike always send a letter to Mrs. LaRue telling her how bad was this school. Ike think that this school is a prison he wants to go with Mrs. LaRue. Ike is sorry about the chicken pie he ate that he wasn't supposed to eat.Ike is now telling Mrs.LaRue about the Hibbins cats.Ike has to do what Miss Klondike Ike is telling Mrs.LaRue that she is making them do what she wants.Ike is telling Mrs.LaRue
Dear Mrs. LaRue is a story about a dog in obedience school because he wouldn’t listen to his owner. While at school the dog, Ike, write letters home to his owner, Mrs. LaRue. Ike tells a story of school being an awful place, while the illustrations tell a completely different story. In the colored images in the book, what Ike is actually experiencing is occurring, while in the black and white illustrations tell the story of what Ike thinks is happening to him. I enjoyed how this story had more t ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-11-20

Summary: Ike is a spoiled dog who is forced to go to obedience school. He writes letters to his owner begging to come home until one day he escapes.

Evaluation: The structure of the letters are correct with all the correct components included. This will allow students to use it as an example when writing a letter. The story also has a clear sequence of events and can be referred to easily through the dates on the letters.

Teaching Idea: This would be a good read aloud when introducing

McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

I read the second book in the series before this one, but it feel pretty solitary about them both.

Interesting story. I enjoyed the epistolary style, but I could see how it may not resonate with young children. The story is really driven by the letters so it may be a bit confusing. The wording is often vague so I think it is suited for more advanced readers than very young ones.

This one had less of a structured plot than the second one, which made
Viviane Elbee
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a longer picture book, text-wise, so it is better suited for elementary students or older preschoolers.

It’s quite funny - the kids and I enjoyed seeing the difference between the dog’s perception and the owner’s perception and the “reality” of his situation. The illustrations show the difference between the reality (in color) and the dog’s perception (in black and white).

The book could be used in classroom discussions about letter writing and street-crossing safety.

This book will probab
Goshen PL Childrens
Dear Reader,

Told through letters from obedience school and local newspaper clippings, Ike's story truly is a one of great hardship. Like Ike, I may be being a tad melodramatic, but one really must put oneself in his paws. Imprisoned by his owner and held against his will, nothing could be as cruel.

Your Local Librarian

P.S. This review is being melodramatic. The book is tons of fun! Be sure to examine each page to discover Ike's reading list and how he imagines his situation vs. what is
Nicholas King
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School is a fantastic book in my opinion. I personally used this book myself when I had to create an activity plan for a small group of second graders. I used this book has the activity ice breaker when using context clues and finding main ideas in a text. Aside from the teaching aspect, these kids loved this book and the illustrations that came with it. It was a very comical book many kids can enjoy.
Kayleigh Mccormac
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for introducing kids to persuasive language. Some of the vocabulary is a bit challenging for 5th grade ELL's so it's best to use it as a read aloud. Another great feature is how it the story the dog is trying to create is illustrated in black and white while the reality is illustrated in color. So that's another thing that can be discussed with students.
Stephanie Crowther
Cute story about a dog in denial of his disobedience sent to obedience school. He writes letters to his owner, trying to convince her to rescue him from such a terrible place. There's a lot of great vocabulary throughout the text. This would be an excellent mentor text for persuasion and for teaching how to write letters and newspaper articles.
Mrs. LaRue, sends Ike to obedience school for two months, and that's a pretty long time in dog years. He hastens to tell her of the hardships, and harsh treatment he is facing in a collection of letters to her. In her slow response to come and take him home, Ike escapes, and becomes a dog on the run. Whatever will become of him, and will he be branded as a "bad" dog for life.
Lynn  Davidson
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ike is a dog whose misbehaviour landed him into obedience school. He missed his owner, Mrs. LaRue, so much that he writes to her every day. His dramatic letters are intended to convince her that he is sadly mistreated and must go home. When he escapes she worries about him.

This is a funny story with fabulous illustrations.
Jennifer Steele
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I absolutely loved this book!! I love how his thoughts are in black and white, it really separates the realities from his thoughts in a concrete way for the reader. I also love that Teague used larger vocabulary words that are not in children’s vocabulary; misconception, melodramatic, lummox. Great way to stretch the repertoire of words.
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Mark Teague has delighted young readers with more than 20 picture books, and he has written many of them himself, including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer, and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers and the best-selling books by Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon.

Mark Teague's lif

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