Monday, December 5, 2016

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday -- WOOF: A Bowser and Birdie Novel by Spencer Quinn

WOOF: A Bowser and Birdie Novel by Spencer Quinn (Scholastic, April 2016)

Another one from the Oregon Battle of the Books' list. My 4th-grader is one a roll, and I'm going to interview him later to see what he thought. (For the record, I loved the humor, and it was a great one to read-aloud together.)

What It's About (from Amazon):
There's trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp -- Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they're lying.

Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It's not just that her grammy's stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It's the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It's the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.

When Birdie and Bowser start digging into the mystery, not even Bowser's powerful sniffer can smell just how menacing the threat is. And when the danger comes straight for Birdie, Bowser knows it's up to him to sic 'em.

Opening Lines:
Two humans stood outside my cage, a white-haired woman and a gum-chewing kid. Gum chewing is one of the best sounds out there, and the smell's not bad either. I liked the kid from the get-go.

What My Guy Liked About It:
"It was a good mystery which, like in all good mysteries, ended in a lot of cliff hangers. Bowser was always thinking about food, and sometimes it was hilarious.

WOOF was an interesting story about a girl and her dog discovering what happened. It was fun, as a reader, trying to figure out what would happen next."

About the Author:
Spencer Quinn is the pen name for thriller-writer Peter Abrahams. Under the Spencer Quinn name, he writes the Chet and Bernie mysteries for adults, and the Bowser and Birdie series for middle grade readers. A father of four grown-up kids, Abrahams lives on Cape Cod with his wife and two dogs, Audrey and Pearl, whom he calls "the kind of researchers writers dream of, showing up every day and working for treats." WEBSITE  TWITTER


  1. I have trouble with books from an animal's point of view, but this was a good murder mystery, so I have the series. Interesting that it is really written by Abrahams-- I'm always lukewarm about his work, but I didn't know he wrote these.

  2. Sounds like a fun read. And OMG who wouldn't want a dog like Bowser.

  3. My dog is staring at me now so I'll be tracking this one down. Thanks for the insights from your young reviewer.

  4. Sounds like a good one for my reluctant reader, dog-loving son.

  5. I really love the format of your reviews. I always love hearing thoughts straight from the kiddos.

    Amanda @ A Bookshelf Monstrosity

  6. I am starting to enjoy books from the animal's point of view. What a great mystery for a girl and her dog. And, I like the focus on senses. Great review!

  7. I am always, always, ALWAYS on the lookout for great read-alouds. And a mystery to boot. Thanks.

  8. I second Natalie! I've seen this one around. I think MGers will really like it!

  9. This looks great. I love those opening lines.

  10. I'm already in love with this slightly slobbery pooch!

  11. This book sounds great! Thanks for the review!

  12. A girl and a dog solving mysteries? Who can resist? Thanks for telling me about this one. I will check it out.


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