Vociferous, boisterous third-grader Fran has difficulty controlling her behavior. She teases classmates, pushes her way around at recess, and carelessly shoves her reading buddy, injuring him. Then she wins the leading role in her school playwith the caveat that she will be replaced if she misbehaves. Despite being labeled a bully, Fran remains clueless about her conduct, until she takes her Newfoundland puppy to obedience school, where both dog and child learn valuable lessons about good behavior. The author of Butterfly Buddies (2001) offers another entertaining novel full of believable kids with recognizable problems. The concept of female bully-antihero is unusual in books for this age group, and the idea works particularly well here, as Fran is truly shocked to realize how others perceive her. With a brisk plot, short chapters, and frequent pen-and-ink illustrations, this story will be a good pick for children making the transition to short novels. Grades 2-4. Hardcover.