Serial story about rescue dog available to NNA members starting in January

Dec 11, 2013

Dawn Kitchell
Newspaper In Education 

Lily is a Weimaraner growing up in Joplin, MO, with her best friend and owner, Tara. Tara sees that Lily is smart and has an incredible sniffer and decides to train her to become a search and rescue dog. The two become a team, doing their best to help people who are lost or missing loved ones.

One day Lily becomes very sick. She survives a mysterious illness with the help of veterinarians and Tara by her side. Lily’s recovery is a miracle, but her challenges are far from over.

A month later, Joplin is hit by a massive tornado! The search and rescue dog’s bravery and resilience are put to the test as she is called upon to help put her city back together, piece by piece.

This is a story of hope and hometown heroes, celebrating the courageous spirit of one special dog.

Thanks to the National Newspaper Association Foundation, Missouri Press Foundation and author Carolyn Mueller, newspapers will have free access to “Lily’s Story” during the sixth annual Reading Across the Nation project.

Mueller is a St. Louis author and zookeeper. Her first book, “Bubbles the Dwarf Zebu: A Story about Finding a Home at the Saint Louis Zoo,” was published in 2012. Her second book, “Lily the Rescue Dog: A Story of Courage and the Joplin Tornado” from which the serial was adapted, will be published in 2014. You can learn more about her at

The illustrator for Mueller’s picture book, Nick Hayes, is providing the illustrations for the serial story as well. Hayes lives above a flower market in East London. He draws political cartoons for the Guardian and the New Statesman and writes graphic novels. His latest book is a study of the Dust Bowl in 1930s America, through the prism of Woody Guthrie, the famous folk singer. You can learn more about him at



Beginning in January, newspapers will have six months of free access to “Lily’s Story.” Each chapter feature is provided in a print-ready format.

Also available through the project is a companion teacher guide. The guide may be distributed to teachers or posted on a newspaper’s website. Additionally, each chapter in “Lily’s Story” offers links to website resources.

The Reading Across the Nation project not only offers newspapers the chance to connect with young readers in classrooms and at home, but also presents new revenue opportunities. Many newspapers approach non-traditional advertisers to sponsor a chapter or the series.

Beginning Jan. 1, newspapers may download “Lily’s Story,” at using code: nnaread.

This code offers access to the eight chapter features, a promotional ad to let readers know when you’ll begin publishing the series, the teacher guide and rules for publication.

Please read the full rules included in the download, but in summary:

• Your newspaper may access “Lily’s Story” files from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2014.

• You can’t change the story or the credits—but you may add your own credits to include your newspaper and sponsors.

• If you plan on publishing the story in more than one newspaper operated by your company, you MUST log in under each newspaper’s name so we have an accurate record of all the publications participating in the project.

• You may use the story electronically only within a PDF or similar product of the newspaper in an electronic archive edition. Newspapers may only publish this e-version of the chapter within a complete-page version of its newspaper and not in any other stand-alone format.


For more information, contact Sara Walsh at or at 573-777-4980 or Dawn Kitchell at Missouri Press Association, or at 636-932-4301.