The Buddy Files

Buddy image

Series Description


No, this isn’t my car. It’s a car I happened to see parked in Grinnell, IA one day. It’s a tribute to the owner’s dog.

An Edgar award winning mystery series for chapter book readers. Features a school therapy dog who solves mysteries. Books are told from the dog’s point of view.


“With twists and turns, humor, and a likable canine character, this series should find a wide fan base.” Booklist

“The type is large, the text is easy, and the occasional black-and-white illustrations complement the text well. The clues are unique and true to the fact that a dog is telling the story. The addition of paw prints used as bullet points in King’s lists of what he knows about the case and chapter headings with titles like “Nose to the Ground” add to this involving story. Fans of dog stories, mysteries, or readers reluctant to start chapter books will appreciate this story.” School Library Journal

“Butler tells the story from Buddy’s perspective, throwing in details to convince readers that it’s really Buddy talking….Tugeau’s full-page line drawings enliven a story that should captivate young readers. This first entry in a series is both sweet and suspenseful.” Kirkus Reviews

“This chipper novel launches Butler’s…Buddy Files series, narrated by a chatty golden retriever…..readers should be drawn in by Buddy’s exuberant voice and readily recognize the high stakes and emotions at play.” Publishers Weekly

“The clear and direct plots, engaging characters, humor, and suspense will keep readers entertained.” The Horn Book Guide

“Told believably from a dog’s point of view, the story will appeal to beginning and reluctant readers. Black line illustrations aid in understanding.”
Children’s Literature

“This new series will appeal to beginning independent readers, not only in the readability of the text, but also in the endearing dog detective…The story’s lively pace and large print will keep young readers engaged.”
Library Media Connection


  • 2011 Edgar Award Winner – Best Juvenile Mystery Published in 2010
  • –2011-2012 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List
  • –2012 Monarch Award Master List (Illinois)
  • –2011-2012 Goldfinch Award nominee (Iowa)
  • –2013 Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award Master List

Downloadable Materials

Download a Teacher’s Guide for the Buddy Files #1-4 HERE
Download Coloring Pages HERE
Download a Crossword Puzzle HERE
Download a Maze HERE


The Buddy Files #1: The Case of the Lost Boy
Albert Whitman & Co., 2010
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
Hardcover ISBN: 0807509108; Paperback ISBN: 0807509329
Ages 6-9

King has a very big mystery to solve. His family is missing, and he’s been put in the P-O-U-N-D. Why doesn’t his beloved human (Kayla) come to get him? When King is adopted by Connor and his mom, things get more confusing. The new family calls him Buddy! And just as Connor and Buddy start to get acquainted, Connor disappears! Buddy (aka King) has big problems to solve, but with some help from his friend Mouse (a very large dog) and the mysterious cat with no name, he shows what a smart, brave dog can do.

buddy 2 cover

The Buddy Files #2: The Case of the Mixed-up Mutts
Albert Whitman & Co., 2010
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
Hardcover ISBN: 0807509116; Paperback ISBN: 0807509337
Ages 6-9

In canine good citizen class, Buddy meets Muffin, a dog who has been switched with another, similar-looking dog named Jazzy. Because he understands how hard it is to lose your family, Buddy works hard to get both dogs back to where they belong. His adoped family then decides to have him microchipped so they won’t lose him.



buddy 3 cover

The Buddy Files #3: The Case of the Missing Family 
Albert Whitman & Co., 2010
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
Hardcover ISBN:0807509124; Paperback ISBN: 0807509345
Ages 6-9

Buddy has settled in with his adoped family, but he still misses his original people. When he sees a van taking things out of his old home, he decides to make a daring journey to find his original owners.




buddy 4 cover

The Buddy Files #4: The Case of the Fire Truck
Albert Whitman & Co., 2010
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
Hardcover ISBN: 0807509132; Paperback ISBN:0807509353
Ages 6-9

Buddy is starting his work as therapy dog at Four Lakes Elementary School, where Connor attends and Mom is the principal. On his very first day, he accidentally knocks down a little kid on the playground, convincing the first grade teacher that school is no place for a dog. Then the fire alarm goes off. The school is evacuated, but there’s no fire… it’s a false alarm. Who could have set it?


buddy 5 cover

The Buddy Files #5: The Case of the Library Monster
Albert Whitman & Co., 2011
Available in Hardcover, Paperback & Scholastic Book Club Edition
Hardcover ISBN: 0807509140; Paperback ISBN: 0807509361; Scholastic Book Club ISBN: 9780545434966
Ages 6-9

Buddy is in the school library and kids are taking turns reading with him. While Buddy listens to a ghost story, he hears rustling in the shelves behind him. He turns to look, but doesn’t see anyone back there. He hears a book fall. Something smells strange. Not human…not canine, not like anything Buddy has ever smelled before. Could it maybe be the school ghost Buddy has heard so much about? When the child he’s sitting with leaves, Buddy goes over to the shelves to investigate…and comes face to face with a mysterious creature that has a long, blue tongue.


buddy 6 cover

The Buddy Files #6: The Case of the School Ghost
Albert Whitman & Co., 2012
Available in Hardcover and Paperback
Hardcover ISBN: 0807509159; Paperback ISBN:080750937X
Ages 6-9

Buddy’s a lucky dog. He gets to go to the fourth grade sleepover at school with Connor! He’s hoping to find out more about the old legend of Agatha, the school ghost. But the sleepover has plenty of other strange things going on, too: mysterious packages, secret notes, and whispers from a ghostly voice! Who—or what—is haunting Four Lakes Elementary?



Click HERE or HERE to a see Buddy Files Trailer. HERE is a link to a video book report two young girls made. And HERE is a trailer for Buddy Files #5.

Other Links of Interest to Buddy Fans:

IMG_2010Click HERE for a guest blog I wrote on the story behind the Buddy Files
Click HERE for a link to a blog entry I wrote about Edgar night or HERE to read a guest blog I wrote for my publisher a week later.
Click HERE for a link to a video of me accepting the Edgar
Click HERE for a link to an interview

Click HERE for a link to a child’s review of the Buddy Files




The Buddy Files in Japanese:

buddy1 japanese

The Case of the Lost Boy

buddy2 japanese

The Case of the Mixed-Up Mutts

buddy3 japanese

The Case of the Missing Family

buddy4 japanese

The Case of the Fire Alarm


Fan Letters (Click to Read):