From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-After proving herself responsible enough to get her own puppy in When Life Gives You O.J. (Knopf, 2011), Zelly is back in this fun and heartwarming tale. She has a lot to balance this time around with Ace-the-dog and Ace-the-grandpa both getting into all sorts of trouble. Having moved from Brooklyn to Vermont last year, the 11-year-old is still having trouble fitting in and desperately wants to be invited to the sleepovers the other girls are having. The only way her parents agree to let her have one of her own, though, is to reenroll Ace in obedience school and have him pass the test. Her grandpa must accompany her, which isn't always easy since he is a rambunctious, sometimes embarrassing character who, among other things, is dating three different women. Readers will laugh along with this sweet story that is chock-full of relatable characters. Zelly's story is essentially a coming-of-age tale about moving to a new place, dealing with grief, and learning what is important in life. The end of the book includes Zelly's guide on how to train a dog as well as a glossary of Yiddish vocabulary and phrases used by Grandpa Ace. This book stands on its own, although readers will certainly be interested in what happened the summer Zelly took care of an orange-juice bottle in the previous book.-Kerry Roeder, Professional Children's School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
After proving herself responsible with her orange-juice-jug dog, in When Life Gives You O.J. (2011), Zelly Fried finally has a real one. Ace, who shares the name with Zelly’s boisterous grandfather, is headed back to puppy kindergarten after an unsuccessful first attempt. But Ace is still young—how much can he be expected to mature before he is ready? And it has only been eight months since Zelly and her family moved to Vermont to live with the widowed Ace; everyone still needs time to grieve despite signs that life moves on (Ace’s three girlfriends being the most startling proof of this, as far as Zelly is concerned). The book gets a lot of mileage out of the frequent mix-ups between “Ace-the-dog” and “Ace-the-grandpa,” which keeps the story light while Zelly worries about fitting in at school and missing her beloved grandmother. Ace-the-grandpa often drives Zelly up the wall, but there is no missing the affection at the heart of this book, where everyone is “completely, ridiculously, perfectly themselves.” This is a delightful sequel and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel as well. Grades 4-7. --Kara Dean