Five Favorite Middle Grade Dog Books

I love picture books about dogs, but picture book readers shouldn’t get all the fun.  There's also a lot of great dog books for chapter book and graphic novel readers.  

The one rule I set for this list was that I wasn’t going to include any books where the Ceases to be. There are lots of beautiful books of that description in juvenile fiction, and you can find them in our catalog. They just aren’t my preferred way of reading about dogs.

5. Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories

Edited by Ann M. Martin 

Dog stories from nine popular and award winning authors, including Pam Muñoz Ryan, Mark Teague, Margarita Engle, Matt de la Peña and Jon J Muth.  These stories are bite sized bits of dogs literature for the reader who doesn’t want to commit to a whole novel just now.  

4.My Dog Made Me Write This Book

By Elizabeth Fensham 

A kid’s relationship with a new dog doesn’t always get off to a great start.  Eric can’t imagine why his dog Ugly doesn’t like him, but he is sick of the whole business.  He is on the verge of running away from home to avoid the problem when he turns to his friends and his grandfather to help him turn the situation around.  It’s a lighthearted read, with lively illustrations and a humorous voice. 

I appreciate the way that Eric’s ideas don’t always work right away in this book.  In order to mend the relationship with Ugly, he has to grow as much as Ugly does. 

3. The Case of the Lost Boy

By Dori Hillstad Butler

I am not sure how people solve mysteries without dogs.  Three out of five dogs in middle grade books seem to be in on the mystery solving action.*   This book, like many of them, is narrated by the dog detective himself.  Like other dog detectives, Buddy’s got a strong voice that lends a lot of humorous notes to the story.  

I only wanted to include one of these books on my list, but if you like The Buddy Files you will probably also like the Hank the Cowdog Series, The Birdie and Bowser Mysteries and the J. J. Tully Mysteries

*this is a fake statistic. 

2. Korgi Series 

By Christian Slade

Korgi is a wordless graphic novel series about a village of magical creatures with corgi-like animal familiars called Korgis.   The series follows a particular pair through their adventures.  On my first read I immediately decided they were tailor made to delight kids who are a lot like I was in 5th grade.  

They are quick reads with rich visuals, and, like all graphic novels, valuable for improving visual literacy.   

1.Wedgie & Gizmo

By Suzanne Selfors 

Gizmo is an evil genius bent on taking over the world.  He’s also a guinea pig.  Unfortunately, his life has just been turned upside down. He’s had to move to a new home, where he is forced to live in a dollhouse, wear a tutu and contend with a new arch nemesis - a Corgi named Wedgie who thinks he's a superhero.

The alternating points of view make this 2018-2019 Bluebonnet List book a particular treat, and beneath the laugh a minute exterior, the plot deals with stresses many kids can relate to like getting used to a new house living with new people.  

Looking for more dog books? Try one of these: 

Dog Night at the Story Zoo 

Stick Dog


Pug Blasts Off

Mountain Dog