Jelly Bean

by Cynthia Lord (Author) Erin McGuire (Illustrator)

Jelly Bean
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
In this charming illustrated chapter book series by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord, the Shelter Pet Squad kids find the perfect homes for animals in need!

Suzannah's always wanted a pet of her own, but she lives in an apartment where there are absolutely no pets allowed. What she CAN do is volunteer at a local pet shelter. There, although she's the youngest, Suzannah quickly finds herself making friends with the kids and bonding with the animals. She makes toys and treats for the animals. She feeds the cats and plays with the puppies!

Then a girl just her age brings a guinea pig named Jelly Bean to the shelter. Suzannah promises that she'll find the little creature the perfect home. But what if no one wants an abandoned guinea pig?

Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord has created a fun and heartwarming chapter books series.
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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Second-grader Suzannah longs for a pet of her own, but her building doesn't allow animals. She hesitantly joins the Shelter Pet Squad, a group of animal-loving kids who make treats and toys for the dogs, cats, and other animals at the local shelter. Suzannah adores helping out, and she and the other kids quickly become friends. When a family brings in a guinea pig, Jelly Bean, that they have to give up, Suzannah makes it her personal mission to find him a home. She manages to rescue him from becoming snake food, and with the help of the entire Shelter Pet Squad, Jelly Bean ends up with the perfect owner. Suzannah never gets a pet, but this heartwarming early chapter book reminds readers that good friends and the chance to make a positive difference are often closer than they may believe. Upbeat and relatable, this promises to be the start to a series that will win over young animal enthusiasts. Occasional black-and-white illustrations break up the text, and back matter includes instructions for making simple pet toys.--Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for RULES

A Newbery Honor book, Schneider Family Book Award, ALA Notable

"Catherine is an endearing narrator who tells her story with both humor and heartbreak. . . . A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Praise for TOUCH BLUE

*"A thoughtful first-person narration . . . [Tess's] sense of humor keeps things light." — THE HORN BOOK, starred review

"Lord interlaces themes of loss, luck, superstition, family, and belonging . . . in this stirring novel." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Realistic characters, humor, and a charming setting make this a great choice for collections of all sizes." — KIRKUS REVIEWS
Cynthia Lord
Derek Anderson is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Little Quack series by Lauren Thompson as well as the Hot Rod Hamster series by Cynthia Lord. He is also the author and illustrator of Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure and Story County: Here We Come! He writes and paints in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit him online at
Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of Rules, a Newbery Honor Book and a Schneider Family Book Award winner, as well as the critically acclaimed Half a Chance, A Handful of Stars, and Because of the Rabbit. She made her picture-book debut with Hot Rod Hamster, which won several awards, including the Parents' Choice Award, and is the author of the Shelter Pet Squad chapter book series. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Scholastic Press
Publication date
August 20, 2014
Shelter Pet Squad
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002180 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, etc.
JUV002190 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
JUV045000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Chapter Books
Library of Congress categories
Animal shelters
Guinea pigs

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