|Dog Squad (Dog Squad)|
Author: Grabenstein, Chris
Fred, a scrappy and lovable dog, gets cast as a stand-in for the lead role in Dog Squad, a show about crime-fighting dogs, and he soon finds out the action doesn't always stop on-screen.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Hughes, Beth|
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/21)
School Library Journal (05/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2021 A shelter dog chosen to serve as temporary substitute for an injured TV star proves that a noble heart trumps good looks every time. Though he misses his first chance at stardom when Broadway hip-hop musical Washington closes after one night, Fred refuses to throw away his shot to act the heroic lead in Dog Squad while the streaming series’ original prima donna, Duke, recovers from a broken leg. Not only is Fred a natural on set, in real life he saves babies and puppies and, in a display of true altruism, sets out to rescue Duke from abusive trainer Big Tony Bomboloni. Aside from that stereotyping gaffe, the human and canine supporting cast is an appealing mix of rivals and sidekicks. In frequent ink-and-fill scenes (not seen in finished form), Hughes depicts the courageous canine (part boxer, part hound, “part who knows what”) in action from various dramatic angles. Grabenstein bills his “wags-to-riches” tale as a series kickoff, but notwithstanding a broad hint about the next episode, this stands (all four paws) firmly on its own. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 Gr 4–6—Grabenstein's hilarious series starter begs readers to explore what it means to be a hero. Presented in third person, the story chronicles a dog's journey from famine to fame. Left behind by his owners, Fred must fend for himself. Along the way, he encounters breeds kind and cruel at a city shelter, a Broadway performance, and Second Chance Ranch, where Jenny and Abby train strays to become stars for the popular Dog Squad television series featuring famous canine idols Duke, Nala, and Scruffy. As a mixed-breed dog, Fred faces identity challenges. He looks exactly like the real Duke in the show, but he thinks he's just an average pup. When Fred finally meets the real Duke, he reconsiders his assumptions. Rendered in tight, snappy prose, each chapter builds a narrative arc that leaves readers wondering what will happen next. The tone is humorous, and characters are similar to the kids whom readers might encounter. Laced with positive messages but never preachy, this allegorical, fast-paced, rollicking adventure will appeal to all readers. VERDICT Through expertly paced conflict and characterization, this canine adventure shows what it means to be brave.—Jennifer Strattman, Freelance Writer, Cambridge, NY - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.