The Good the Bad & the Beagle

Catherine Lloyd Burns, Author, Catherine Lloyd Burns, Author
Catherine Lloyd Burns. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-30039-5
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014
Release date: 10/14/2014
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All 11-year-old Veronica Morgan wants is a beagle—specifically Cadbury, the lemon beagle at the pet shop down the street. But since there’s no justice in the world, Cadbury is stuck at the store, and Veronica is the new girl in the small sixth-grade class at a fancy private school for girls. Although set on New York City’s Upper East Side and featuring a variety of very nice apartments, this is no middle-grade Gossip Girl. Veronica is a sweet, insecure worrier who’s more confident around dogs than people. She’s happy to pass up a big social event planned by the sixth-grade alpha girls in favor of time with Cadbury when the party coincides with his long-awaited arrival. In her children’s book debut, actress and memoirist Burns (It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks) creates a world that, though slightly twee and Manhattan-stereotypic (both Veronica’s parents are therapists; there is much eating of Chinese takeout), offers a warmhearted and realistic take on love, grief, and the difficulties and rewards of making human friends. Ages 10–12. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (Oct.)
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