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Dogs Don't Tell Jokes Paperback – August 11, 1992

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; 7.12.1992 edition (August 11, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679833722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679833727
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PW praised the "strong, realistic characterization" in this "gracefully told story" of a compulsive comic, the scourge of his seventh-grade class. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-- Gary Boone (who calls himself "Goon") is the self-proclaimed clown of his seventh-grade class. He never stops joking, despite the fact that nobody laughs much, and he has no real friends at school. Entering a talent contest as a stand-up comedian forces him to look more closely at the effect his humor has on others and on himself. Sachar balances the fun with moments of insight and feeling. Gary, who appeared as a fifth grader in Someday Angeline (McKay, 1990), is not very funny as the book begins. He has moments of true wit, but they are overshadowed as he reels off one-liners culled from books. As he begins to notice how his family and classmates react to his jokes, he gradually becomes funnier. He also stops falling back on the self-deprecating humor that has helped to make him unpopular . His hilarious performance at the talent show is a fitting climax, full of real surprises. Hurwitz's Class Clown (Morrow, 1987) deals with a similar theme but is for a younger audience. Dogs Don't Tell Jokes is an excellent choice for junior high readers, and Sachar's younger fans will enjoy it too. --Steven Engelfried, Pleasanton Library, CA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

author spotlight
Newbery Award-winning author Louis Sachar is the creator of the entertaining Marvin Redpost books as well as the much-loved There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, winner of 17 child-voted state awards.

Louis Sachar's book Holes, winner of the 1999 Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, is also an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick, an ALA Notable Book, and was made into a major motion picture.

A Few Words From Louis Sachar
Of all the characters from Holes, why did you choose to revisit Armpit in SMALL STEPS?
LS: I tend to write about underdogs. It seemed to me that life would be tough for an African-American teenager from a low-income family with a criminal record. Especially someone stuck with the name, "Armpit."
Although this new book is about a character from Holes, the two books are very different. How would you explain to a fan of Holes what to expect from SMALL STEPS?
LS: I can't. I'm no good at describing my books. Holes has been out now for seven years, and I still can't come up with a good answer when asked what that book is about.
Could you imagine future novels about any of the other boys?
Do you think about what Stanley is up to now?
LS: I don't think too much about Stanley or Zero. I left them in a good place. Although money doesn't bring happiness, or give meaning to someone's life, the problems Stanley and Zero face now (and I'm sure they do face many problems) are less interesting than those faced by someone like Armpit.
Plenty of teenagers fantasize about what it would be like to be a young rock star.
You portray it as lonely. Tell us about that decision.
LS: The media tends to portray the teenage world as one where drinking and sex is taken for granted. In fact, I think most teenagers don't drink, are unsure of themselves, and feel awkward around members of the opposite sex. I thought it was important to show Kaira, a rock star no less, as such a person. Her situation, in many ways, is made more difficult as she has no social contact with anyone her age. She is trapped in a world of agents, record producers, and hanger-ons.
I'm imagining that off all the books you've written, Holes is the one that has changed your life the most. Not only did it win the Newbery Medal, it's also simply a popular sensation. Is this assessment accurate? What is this novel's continuing impact on your life? Would you consider it the book that you are proudest of?
LS: Not counting Small Steps, I think Holes is my best book, in terms of plot, and setting, and the way the story revealed itself. It hasn't changed my life, other than that I have more money than I did before I wrote it. I'm still too close to Small Steps to compare it to Holes.
Why do you typically write only two hours each day?
LS: Small steps. Every time I start a new novel it seems like an impossible undertaking. If I tried to do too much too quickly, I would get lost and feel overwhelmed. I have to go slow, and give things a chance to take form and grow.

Customer Reviews

My eight year old loved this book.
Mom of 2...Going on 3
This book is very nice for people who like a good laugh and a good read.
Steven Meester
It is the funniest book I have read.
A 10-year old reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A 10-year old reader on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gary Boone likes to tell jokes. He thinks they are funny. Whenever he is talking to someone, he tells a joke, but no one thinks they are funny. But when a talent show is announced at his school, he starts on making his routine everyday to make it perfect. Then his mom and dad said that if he didn't tell a joke until the talent show, he would get 100 dollars. But since he didn't think his jokes were funny, he quit. But an incident caused him to change his mind. I found this really great after a few chapters. It is the funniest book I have read. Don't put down this book!!!!!!!!!! The characters have a big plot in this book. I think this book is good for all ages. Read it by yourself or with someone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book, written by Louis Sachar, was a very enjoyable book. It's a very easy book, but you won't be able to put it down. It's about a boy by the name of Gary W. Boone. "If you take the Oon from Boone and the G from Gary, it makes Goon!" Being the goofy kid he is on the inside, he tries to make friends, but being the comedian without any good jokes, he sees it's very difficult. His best friend, Angeline, moves to a new school, which makes it harder for Gary. Finding a sign for the school talent show, Gary finds this the perfect opportunity to gain popularity, and practice his jokes. As he practices day and night to find a nice order to put his jokes in and memorize them, he gets a call from Angeline. Angeline, who has always thought she was psychic, tells Gary not to enter the talent show. She senses something bad might happen. Gary wants to believe her, but this is his big chance to give the school a big opening BANG with his hilarity.

I would give this book four stars because its funny and it has a good story line.

Louis Sachar is a brilliant author that talks about funny things. I like him mostly because he's down to earth and he doesn't involve aliens or anything fiction. His stories are about everyday kids in awkward, hilarious situations. I'm not a good science fiction reader so this book is perfect for me, plus it's not as hard so I won't get confused on what's going on. This is why I like Louis Sachar.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I chose this book because of the title "Dogs Don't Tell Jokes." I thought this book would be about this girl that was telling dogs jokes. This book is about a kid whose name is Gary W. Boone, and he really wants to enter a talent show but then he finds out that he is the only one signed up for it. I liked this book because the boy is really funny, but I also liked this book because the boy is really lucky. He will get $100 from his parents if he doesn't tell jokes for two weeks. I recommend this book for 4th-8th graders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 13, 2002
Format: School & Library Binding
One of the best books that I read this year would be Dogs Don't tell Jokes by Louis Sachar. This book was my favorite because it had a lot of different types of conflict. One is when Gary first found out about the talent show. He was having a really hard time to find out who he could sign up with. Then he just kept asking the kids at his school if they knew how to sign up. Then he finally comes to this girl named Brenda and she said, that he could sign up with his teacher. Finally he goes to his teacher and said to put his name on the list for the talent show. She said that he was the first one to sign up. That is just one of the reasons why this book is my favorite. Another reasons why this book is my favorite is when his parents told him that they would give him one hundred dollars if he would stop telling his jokes. He had to stop telling them until the talent show which was four weeks away. They said, that they were getting tired of hearing the same jokes over and over. They also said, that if he keeps telling them that people would have already heard them and they wouldn't won't to hear them again. His dad told him that today he repeated one of his jokes to one of customers. Gary said, that he would do it. he wouldn't won't say any more until the talent show. Then my favorite one is when he's at the talent
Show. When he comes out, he had a suit and a hat that was tight on his head. He had this thing that made his hair look like he had shaved it. then in one part of his act he wrapped a bath towel around him. He said, that the soap that he used is what made him bold. Then he starts off telling more of his jokes. He still has on the bath towel. Then he would start talking about the soap again. Then he would start talking about something else. He would just keep going back and fourth from one thing to another. He would never finish one of his jokes. That is why I think that you should read the book to find out the rest.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes is by Louis Sachar. Louis Sachar wrote many other books such as There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and Holes. Dogs don't tell jokes, is about a boy named Gary Boon and his friendships, relationships, responsibilities, problems, and everyday life. Gary has always felt he would be a stand up comedian and when the school talent show is announced he feels this is his chance to start heading to his dream. Gary is doing all he can to win the talent show even if it means embarrassing himself. Along your way through this book you will meet Gary's friends, enemies, crushes, parents and teachers. I liked this book because it is fascinating and fun to read there were many problems that Gary runs into and resolutions he has to uncover. There are many reasons I am recommending this book. I feel it is a good book for people who are into reading. The writing is great and the reader won't get board because something new is always happening and you will always want to find out what will happen. You will be brought into this book and feel as if you are just another kid in Gary's class. Some people might think this book is confusing in some parts, sometimes you don't know who is talking or who is who. It is hard to find out if his mom is talking or if it is Abel. Is Joe Gary's dad or his friend Angeline's dad? But that makes it more adventurous. Something will happen and you will be more surprised, and it will make the book more of a mystery. The writing is easy to read and the chapters are interesting for kids. However this makes it easier for kids to read and still want to go on. When I read a book and the chapters are long, while the writing is small, I don't want to read it and I give up. This book has chapters that are not too long and children won't become tired of them. When you read this book or your child reads this book they will fly into the world of Gary Boon.
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