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Beware of Dog (McGrowl #1) Paperback – August 1, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Film producer, director and actor Balaban launches the McGrowl series with this faltering farce introducing fifth-grader Thomas and his "best and only friend," Violet. Just after his birthday, on which Thomas once again fails to receive the one present he wants a dog he and Violet find a stray as they walk home during a thunder and lightning storm. The dog escorts the children through blinding rain ("barking furiously, keeping them together and trying to move them forward as if they were an errant flock of sheep"), and pushes them out of the path of an oncoming truck, which then strikes the canine. In an odd twist, Thomas and Violet deliver the pooch to a man whom they believe is a revered veterinarian, but is actually a villain in disguise; after many pages readers learn that he is determined to take over the town and plans to use Thomas's dog to carry out his plot. The evil vet replaces the insides of McGrowl (as Thomas eventually names him) with steel and aluminum during an operation he performs after the accident. Awkward writing, extraneous detail and humor that misses its mark sink this shaggy dog story. Ages 8-11.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
Well, I think this series fits the bill. The stories are a bit silly, but not aggressively over the top. The kids are engaging; the parents aren't idiots; the villains aren't terrifying, and the overall effect is fun and just advanced enough to be a bit of challenge. Certainly worth a try.
Beware of Dog takes place in a small town in Cedar Springs, Idaho. The setting takes place on a slippery road during a heavy rainstorm. Our main character is a boy named Thomas who wears glasses. He is very tall for his age (six feet tall). He is very smart in almost every subject. He has a best friend named Violet. Violet is also Thomas' neighbor. They both are in the fifth grade.
This story is about a dog and the children. It was going to rain that morning and like Thomas always says, "It is a perfect day for worms!" They find this lost shaggy dog while walking to school. They take the dog to the veterinarian to get it checked out because it was hurt. The veterinarian said that they could pick him up the next day. They cannot wait so they both get up early in order to pick up the dog first thing in the morning. When they pick him up they notice something odd. All of a sudden the dog is so strong he can break through a wall and carry half the wall with him. Thomas can also understand the dogs thoughts! The children believe that the veterinarian had something to with the dog's new abilities. The vet notices the extraordinary powers that the dog has. Can Thomas and Violet help the dog before it is too late? Will the veterinarian take over the dog....find out by reading the book?
After I finished reading the book I realized that it is most likely for students in about sixth grade. I still liked the book even though it was not as challenging as I wanted it to be. It is still a good book to read for younger students. What I learned from this story is if you notice something looks wrong then you should have an adult check it out. If I had to rate this book I would give it 2 stars out of 5 because it was too easy for me. If I was younger I would probably have given it 3 stars for the plot and storyline. This book is still an exciting book to read.