Tom wants to work with his father in the newspaper shop that he runs. He and J.D. have been delivering the papers, but its not until Sweyn points out that he is just a kid, that Tom’s brain really goes to work. So Tom comes up with his own plan. With the old printing press that his father used to use, he sets up business for himself in the barn. All of their friends are made reporters, and the Adenville Bugle is born.
As they are preparing to start their new venture, the bank in town is robbed. The bank manager is drug out of bed in the middle of the night, forced to open the safe for the robbers, then tied and left in a chair. As the new reporters fan out across town to gather information that they can use in their paper. Tom instructs Basil to hide in his fathers restaurant to see if he can overhear anything, and boy does he ever get the scoop! Basil learns the identity of the two robbers, and Tom rushes the news to print, along with other information that has been gathered through the week. The robbers are captured by Uncle Mark, but Papa is angry at the rest of the information printed in the little paper, and shuts it down. Tom has yet to learn the difference between news and gossip.
However, the kids in town are in for another heartbreak. Old Butch, the dog owned by every kid in town is found dead. All the kids who never were allowed to have dogs had adopted him, and they are all devastated. Tom organizes a funeral, complete with a band, and prepared eulogy. What starts out as a funeral procession through town, soon turns into a large gathering, including the adults. Old Butch is laid to rest with taps being played over the casket. Soon some of the parents who had refused to allow their kids to have pets are reconsidering their decisions…
This week we are reading Chapters 4-5
- Do you think Tom had the right intentions when he started out his little paper?
- Old Butch was one of the most loved dogs in town. Do you think he will ever be replaced?
- Do you think Tom will manage to stay out of trouble for a while?