My name is Cedar B. Hartley, and I’ve always known my life would be unusual, but I didn’t realize just how unusual till the year I was almost thirteen and my brother Barnaby was sent away to school, and I met Kite and became an AcroBRAT.

I came home from school that day and discovered that Stinky was gone, and the house seemed dark and quiet and sad. A dog can make a lot of difference in a house, especially a dog that you’re totally mad about. So I went looking for him, all up and down the block and down to the oval park, but I couldn’t find him anywhere. No one had seen him, either. Then my best friend Caramella and I made some posters with his picture on them and we posted them everywhere we could think of.

“I’m calling about the dog.” It was a boy’s voice, but not a sneering voice, more like the sound of a river rushing steadily by.

“Yep.”

“Down by the creek.”

“Sure. Meet me in the park in fifteen minutes.”

This booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart.