Juv Fiction Vivian Vande Velde Smart Dog

ISBN 13: 9780440416104

Smart Dog

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9780440416104: Smart Dog

Amy Prochenko has spent most of fifth grade avoiding both the bully Katilyn Walker, whose bark is as bad as her bite, and Sean Gorman, the only kid less popular than Amy. As if life isn't hard enough, along comes Sherlock.

After escaping from a research laboratory, all Sherlock wants is to be an ordinary dog. But Sherlock is anything but normal: he can talk. And when he asks Amy for help, she says yes. But Amy may have bitten off more than she can chew! Soon she finds herself tangled up in dangerous schemes and hanging out with people she never would have before. For the first time, thanks to Sherlock, Amy's popular!

Even better, Sherlock is the best friend she's wanted. But Amy's not sure she can save him. Will this dog ever have his day?

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About the Author:

Vivian Vande Velde is the author of Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird and Curses, Inc.: And Other Stories.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-To say that F-32 is a smart dog is a gross understatement. He is computer literate, articulate, and a good judge of human character. This subject of a brain-enhancing science experiment engineers his escape from a research college, selects his "best friend," unpopular fifth-grader Amy Prochenko, and follows her to school. Not since Officer Buckle's Gloria [Officer Buckle & Gloria (Putnam, 1995)] has a dog had such a profound impact on students. Amy finds new friends and inner resources as she helps save the pup from the clutches of the evil scientist plotting brain dissection. Readers rooting for this canine will enjoy the twists and turns in this fast-moving story. Granted that some characters are breezily drawn-sidekick Sean is too good to believe and Kaitlyn, the controlling Miss Popular Know-it-all, is hissingly evil-but the underlying message about popularity and true friendship has rarely been so gently conveyed. Sister Mary Grace, the fifth-grade teacher, is a pleasure to meet. The ending, with both young and old villains getting their just deserts, is deliciously satisfying. Vande Velde, who has written dark fantasies about magical beings for older readers, uses a lighter hand for younger audiences. This book would make a great introduction to Robert O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Atheneum, 1971), the perennial favorite about escaped science subjects.
Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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