…Or in longer words ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS – SECRETS, SECRET SERVICE, AND ROOM SERVICE. Yes, that’s got to be the longest title for a sequel or any other book this year. I came across the first book in this series a year ago (ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS) and almost didn’t read it because I’m not a fan of stories with a talking dog. I pushed forth anyway and enjoyed the tale with its fun set of human characters, and yes, the perceptive wit of Elvis, the 200 pound Newfoundland. I had intended to review Elvis but never got that far. I’m happy the void is removed with today’s review of the longer titled book 2.
You won’t have to worry if you missed the first book. All the important details from that story are told on the book jacket and in the first few chapters. All the characters return for another wild adventure. The series seems more appealing to new MG readers perhaps in that 8-10 age group.
You’ll grimace at how implausible all of this is but by the last page you won’t be able to get the smile off your face.
PUBLICATION DATE:2014 PAGE COUNT: 334
FULL PLOT (From Amazon): It’s been months since Benji’s former safety dog, Elvis, was whisked away by the Secret Service, but Benji still misses him terribly. Luckily, because Elvis is now the president’s dog, there are plenty of pictures and videos of him online.
While watching the footage of the president’s speech on the White House lawn, Benji and his friends Alexander and Taisy see Elvis thumping his tail repeatedly. Is he trying to tell Benji something? The kids realize it’s actually a code! And Elvis needs their help.
And so begins another madcap adventure in which these underdog best friends will have to find a way to travel to DC, find out the truth behind Elvis’s distress signals, and uncover state secrets without getting caught . . . or they may have to say good-bye to Elvis for good.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS 2 by Jenny Lee
- The climax of the story takes place inside the White House. A very cool setting for the plot points to come to a happy conclusion.
- If you like plenty of slapstick with your humor look no further than the scenes in the White House kitchen.
- Our protagonist, Benji, is an enduring character with lots of personality. He’s been sick for most of his life and needs a service dog like Elvis to keep him out of harms way. This adds much of the heart present in the story.
- Despite the length of this one, it is not filled with pictures, but those that appear at the beginning of each chapter are appropriate and sometimes funny in their own right. Congrats to Kelly Light, the illustrator, for keeping the theme of the story in her drawings.
- This would make a great read-aloud and be especially good for kids having an unwanted stay in a hospital. I spent a week in one when I was in fifth grade and Elvis and the Underdogs would have made that time much more pleasurable.
Have you ever heard the expression “small kid, big personality”? No? Well, that’s not surprising, because I just made it up.
AUTHOR QUOTE: (SOURCE)
My first dog was a mixed breed named Julie. (Hey, I’m also against giving dogs human-y names, but don’t blame me. I was six years old!) Julie apparently ran away and joined the circus after she had a run-in with the gas meter guy. Or so I was told. Again, I was six. I didn’t ask questions.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.