Thursday, August 6, 2015

Arc Review: Crime Biters! My Dog is Better Than Your Dog by Tommy Greenwald

Crime Biters! My Dog is Better Than Your Dog by Tommy Greenwald. 198 p. Scholastic Press/ Scholastic Inc., September 29, 2015. 9780545773324. (Arc courtesy of publisher)

Tommy Greenwald, whose debut novel, Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to (Not) Reading launched itself into the top three most circulated and stolen books in my library has a new series aimed at a slightly younger audience. 

Eleven-year-old Jimmy Bishop is mad about crime shows, loves to read vampire books and wants a dog. His stay-at-home dad and uber-busy professional mom have no desire for one. When his dad has an interview for a job he really wants, he promises Jimmy a dog out of guilt for sticking him with a babysitter. But on the way to the animal shelter, Jimmy's dad puts so many stipulations on the type of dog he'd be willing to take home that Jimmy's afraid that no dog will pass muster. Luckily, they find Abby, who is sequestered way in the back, in the dark,  and is very, very sleepy. 

Jimmy wonders if Abby is a vampire. Look at the evidence. She sleeps in the day; doesn't like sunlight and is awake and active all night. She also has the biggest fangs Jimmy has ever seen. His creepy new babysitter, Mrs. Cragg, brings out the worst in Abby. Mrs. Cragg hates Abby and Jimmy is afraid that Abby might be sent back. 

These aren't the least of Jimmy's woes. He's starting school with a big, red blotch on his face and a bully who's making his life miserable. His good (if annoying) friend, Irwin and his new friend, Daisy team up with Jimmy to deal with these problems and to prove that Abby is a vampire.

Greenwald nails sibling dialogue and the friction between best friends and keeps the action fast and the humor high. Numerous cartoonish spot art complements the story. This new series is sure to please a variety of readers - reluctant and not; fans of Bunnicula; fans of funny books; mystery fans; fans of dog stories; really, anyone! Don't miss it!