From Jenny Lee, writer on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up , the number-one-rated kids' show in the country, this feel-good middle-grade novel is about a sickly boy whose life is turned upside down when he gets a therapy dog .Read more...
From Jenny Lee, writer on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up , the number-one-rated kids' show in the country, this feel-good middle-grade novel is about a sickly boy whose life is turned upside down when he gets a therapy dog . . . who can talk
Benji Wendell Barnsworth is a small ten-year-old boy with a big personality. Born premature, Benji is sickly, accident-prone, and at the hospital so often he even has his own punch card. So when Benji wakes up one day from a particularly bad spell, his doctors take the radical step of suggesting he get a therapy dog. But when a massive crate arrives at Benji's house, out walks a two-hundred-pound Newfoundland who can talk And boy, is he bossy.
In this hilarious and heartwarming friendship story in the tradition of bestselling authors Gordon Korman and Carl Hiaasen, Elvis brings out the dog lover in the most surprising people and shows Benji that making new friends may not be as scary as he once thought.
- ISBN-13: 9780062235541
- ISBN-10: 0062235540
- Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
- Publish Date: May 2013
- Page Count: 300
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Series: Elvis and the Underdogs #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Ten-year-old Benji Wendell Barns-worth is constantly in and out of the hospital with a smattering of illnesses and allergies; he faints often, and he recently had an epileptic seizure. Getting a therapy dog—a gigantic, talking, Doritos-eating Newfoundland named Parker Elvis Pembroke IV—spares Benji the humiliation of wearing a safety helmet at all times. Elvis, as Benji dubs him, is confident and very well-spoken, and his influence helps Benji assert himself around his well-meaning but suffocating mother, as well as seek adventure with his new friends: Taisy, the pressured daughter of a celebrity athlete, and Alexander, a new student with a “total recall brain.” This children’s book debut from Lee, a writer and producer on Disney’s Shake It Up sitcom (and clearly a dog lover), is suffused with optimism, despite Benji’s many health problems. Benji comes across as down-to-earth and sympathetic—without being pitiable—and the underlying theme about strength found in companionship gives the story just enough gravity. Light contributes b&w digital spot cartoons, not all seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Sally Woffard-Girand, Union Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (May)