THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE BEAGLE for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Guilty as charged: I judged this book by its cover. Who could resist this little guy with his caramel beaglecoloring and brown eyes? His name even fits – Cadbury. This story is a debut for a new MG author. Her picture inside the book jacket looked familiar and the reason is Catherine Lloyd Burns has acted in numerous TV shows and movies.

It was a book I was ready to love, but by the last page it was more of a like than a love. Girls are the center of attention here along with a pretty hefty page count for a debut. Boys and reluctant readers will be looking for something else.

Who is it for? Tween girls who will more than likely adore its content. Yes, it’s sad but also shows a girl realistically trying to deal with the mixed-up emotions of those middle grade years. Female teachers and moms may smile and see themselves. It’s good bibliotherapy for girls who struggle with friendship, family, and loss along with understanding the world around them.

PUBLICATION DATE: 2014   Page Count: 331

FULL PLOT (From Amazon):  Set in a Manhattan, this is the story of feisty eleven-year-old Veronica Morgan, who believes that a furry lemon beagle from the neighborhood pet store will be the solution to the endless worries she has about life in general and friendship in particular. This is a problem, since her bumbling psychiatrist parents won’t buy her the puppy she wants or stop meddling in her life at her challenging new school. But things never turn out the way you plan, particularly if you never stop expecting the worst to happen, and haven’t taken a chance on being a true friend yourself.


  1. I found life in this Jewish family fascinating as they struggled trying to cover both their own faith and the Christian faith around the holidays. Very eye opening.
  2. Both of Veronica’s parents are psychiatrists, providing all sorts of interesting and often very funny dinner time dialog.
  3. Yes, tears may flow as your read parts of this book, but by the end you will feel a warm glow in your heart.
  4. An all girls private school is something rarely used as a setting in children’s literature. Another eye-opening experience as I am used to the goings on in more traditional public schools.
  5. Life in Manhattan. Quirky characters become friends and that might never happen in a suburban setting. From the doorman to the pet shop employees, all of them give young Veronica a different viewpoint.


If you could reach out, there was always a hand to hold, somewhere in the world.


Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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8 Responses to THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE BEAGLE for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. It does sound like great book for tween girls. Although the cover doesn’t reflect that. But, it is a great cover with the dog begging you to “read me” look in his eyesIve been guilty of juding a book by its cover.

  2. cleemckenzie says:

    I’m not a tween girl, but I’m right there with being hooked by those sweet eyes and doggie face. I always pick up books with puppies or kittens. I may not buy them, but I’m captured enough to investigate.

  3. jennienzor says:

    I don’t normally like books with animals, but what you said about the all girls’ school, the psychiatrist parents, and the blended faith family sounds really intriguing. One of my best friends attended an all girls’ school, so I’m glad to see that portrayed more in kidlit.

  4. warrchick says:

    My oft overlooked girlie-girl side is responding to this, so I think I’ll pick it up…most likely as a guilty pleasure. 😉 Thanks for the recommend, and happy MMGM!

  5. Well, that is a cute dog on the cover. I can see why you picked it up. It sounds like it might be fun. Maybe I’ll check it out if I have time. Thanks for telling me about it.

  6. Susan says:

    Intriguing–we have a beagle mix of our own here. I’m a little tired of books about kids longing for dogs, though.

  7. The Paige Turner says:

    Sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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