Return to Headlines

Highlands Parent Author Shares Book with 6th Graders


Highlands Middle School librarian Mrs. Alyse Zylinski invited Highlands parent Dr. Jennifer Callen-Naviglia, the author of the children’s book, K-9 Merlyn: Police Dog Extraordinaire, to share her newly-published book with Highlands Middle School 6th graders in December. 
Dr. Naviglia explained to the students that the book was written with educational benefits in mind, as it focuses on the challenges of learning to read. She was inspired to write the book after seeing the difficulties her own three sons had with reading. The students really enjoyed hearing the dog’s point of view throughout the book.
Here is a summary of Dr. Naviglia's book as posted on Amazon: Meet Merlyn, a french-fry-loving German Shepard with a very important job. Merlyn is a K-9 police officer with the Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department. He works with Chief Mike and helps him keep the community safe. Along with Merlyn’s love of french fries, he loves meeting with the children of his community and all the attention, affection, and curiosity they bring. Merlyn enjoys riding through town in Chief Mike’s police car, but most of all he loves Chief Mike. The creators of this book are dedicated to improving reading skills through stories that will interest, entertain and show young people how books can expand their world and their understanding of it.
Her husband, Chief Mike Naviglia of the Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department, also accompanied her to explain the roles and capabilities of police dogs. "We might know what pizza smells like, but Andor (his police dog) will know what the dough smells like, and the sauce," said Officer Naviglia.
K-9 Merlyn: Police Dog Extraordinaire is available for purchase on Amazon. Thank you to the Naviglias for taking the time to discuss the importance of reading with our students!