Friday, January 31, 2014

Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee

Benji is a sickly kind of kid, he's 10 years old and has been in and out of hospital his whole life. He has allergies, faints when he gets stressed and now he's started having seizures. His doctor suggests he get a service dog, a well trained canine friend who can go get help if Benji has another seizure. This sounds like a great idea, but when the dog arrives he is a 400 lb Newfoundland called Elvis, who is so clever he can talk, or at least Benji can hear him talk. Benji's Mom is not happy about Elvis' assignment and neither is Elvis who is convinced he should be at the White House.

Elvis helps Benji find his own pack, understand the school bully and saves his life. Benji helps Elvis to stop being so serious and helps him make friends of his own.

What a great story, action, adventure, humor, pathos and heart. The book also has a fantastic ending which is moving without being trite. My favorite part is the idea that only Benji can hear Elvis speaking English, maybe it's the brain tumor that's also causing the seizures, or maybe Elvis really is that clever. 

Ages 8-10

Published May 14, 2013 by Harper Collins. (Published in paperback February 4th, 2014) 

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