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Smart Dog Reissue Edition
Contributor(s): Vande Velde, Vivian

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ISBN: 015206172X     ISBN-13: 9780152061722
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: October 2007
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Annotation: Amy Prochenko has spent most of fifth grade avoiding Kaitlyn Walker, a bully whose bark is as bad as her bite, and Sean Gorman, the only kid less popular than Amy Then, as if life isn't hard enough, along comes Sherlock.

After escaping from a research laboratory, all Sherlock wants is to be an ordinary dog. But Sherlock is anything but ordinary: he can talk. And when he asks Amy for help, she says yes.

Amy may have bitten off more than she can chew. Soon she finds herself tangled up in dangerous schemes and hanging out with people she never would have chosen to spend a minute with. For the first time, thanks to Sherlock, Amy is popular!

Even better, she finds the best friend she always wanted. But Amy isn't sure she'll be able to save Sherlock. Will this dog have his day?

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Dogs; Fiction.
Human-animal communication; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Bullying
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2008273276
Lexile Measure: 840
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.25" H x 5.00" W x 0.50" (0.30 lbs) 146 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 34816
Reading Level: 5.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 4.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q19057
Reading Level: 5.8   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 7.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
Fifth grader Amy Prochenko is wildly unpopular. Then one day Amy meets Sherlock, a dog on the run from a university lab. Sherlock is not like other dogs: He can talk, he's smarter than most of Amy's classmates--and he needs Amy's help. Suddenly Amy's life is full of danger and excitement, and she finds she is becoming, of all things, "popular." Best of all, she discovers in Sherlock the sort of friend she's always longed for--and one she must protect no matter what the cost.

Contributor Bio(s):
VIVIAN VANDE VELDE is the author of more than twenty books for young readers, including the Edgar Award–winning Never Trust a Dead Man. She lives in Rochester, New York. 
VIVIAN VANDE VELDE is the author of more than twenty books for young readers, including the Edgar Award–winning Never Trust a Dead Man. She lives in Rochester, New York. 


Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 1999)
Fifth-grader Amy agrees to help a friendly dog who has escaped from the local university, because the dog (a ""science experiment"") is not only smart enough to talk but also extremely polite. Amy and Sherlock barely manage to stay half a step ahead of the researchers, who plan to dissect Sherlock's brain. The accessible vocabulary, quick-moving plot, and humor make the novel appealing. Copyright 1999 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1998 #6)
Amy Prochenko agrees right away to help a friendly dog who has escaped from the research department of the local university, because the dog (a "science experiment"-shades of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH) is not only smart enough to talk but also extremely polite. Amy and Sherlock, as she names the dog, barely manage to stay half a step ahead of the researchers, who plan to study Sherlock's amazing brain by dissecting it. Amy hastily invents one story after another in an effort to prevent her teacher and parents from discovering that the dog is not rightfully hers. The lighthearted novel nicely balances the fantastic with the ordinary; for example, Sherlock, who can use a computer, likes to knock over the garbage-can icon to look through discarded files. With a deft sense of the comic, Vande Velde captures the dynamics of a fifth-grade classroom. When Amy's mother comes to school one day, Amy's flimsy web of lies begins to unravel, with hilarious results. Amy's classroom nemesis, the popular and bratty Kaitlyn, is a two-dimensional villain, but Sherlock and Amy will have readers cheering for them. The accessible vocabulary, quick-moving plot, and humor make the novel appealing for reluctant readers as well as a good choice for reading aloud. anne deifendeifer st. john Copyright 1999 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1998 August #1)
F-32 (or Sherlock, as he comes to be named) is a "smart dog" indeed he has escaped from a university research lab where a scientific experiment has endowed him with speech and all sorts of other signs of intelligence. Unfortunately, the experiment is scheduled to end in the dissection of his brain; fortunately, Sherlock stumbles upon Amy, a painfully unpopular fifth-grader who is only too happy to help him. As she concocts a series of plans to keep him safe, Amy finds herself growing in confidence and courage. Although the supporting characters are familiar types (the smart nerd with the heart of gold, the mean-spirited popular girl, the evil vivisectionist), the enduring fantasy of a talking pet is rendered with an abundance of charm and wit. Sherlock is endearingly doggy and his academic abilities are humorously limited. For example, he can work a computer (he likes the games), but he gums up the keyboard by typing with a pencil eraser. As he and Amy try to figure out a solution to his problems, he asks her, "Do you want to scratch my belly while you're thinking?" His attempts to replicate the behavior of regular dogs will have readers giggling. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1998 November)
Gr 3-6-To say that F-32 is a smart dog is a gross understatement. He is computer literate, articulate, and a good judge of human character. This subject of a brain-enhancing science experiment engineers his escape from a research college, selects his "best friend," unpopular fifth-grader Amy Prochenko, and follows her to school. Not since Officer Buckle's Gloria [Officer Buckle & Gloria (Putnam, 1995)] has a dog had such a profound impact on students. Amy finds new friends and inner resources as she helps save the pup from the clutches of the evil scientist plotting brain dissection. Readers rooting for this canine will enjoy the twists and turns in this fast-moving story. Granted that some characters are breezily drawn-sidekick Sean is too good to believe and Kaitlyn, the controlling Miss Popular Know-it-all, is hissingly evil-but the underlying message about popularity and true friendship has rarely been so gently conveyed. Sister Mary Grace, the fifth-grade teacher, is a pleasure to meet. The ending, with both young and old villains getting their just deserts, is deliciously satisfying. Vande Velde, who has written dark fantasies about magical beings for older readers, uses a lighter hand for younger audiences. This book would make a great introduction to Robert O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Atheneum, 1971), the perennial favorite about escaped science subjects.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO Copyright 1998 School Library Journal
 
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