Friday, January 14, 2011

ARC Review: TILL DEATH DO US BARK

So, there has been an astounding number of dystopian novels reviewed on my site as of late.  Obviously, I need to broaden my reading horizon.  So, I am now breaking this cycle with a Middle Grade novel.  Wow! Big leap, Karla.  I know.  I'll give you all a moment to collect yourselves and pick your jaws up off the floor. 

Done, now?  Okay.  Let the review begin!!

The Book: TILL DEATH DO US BARK (Book 3 in the Old Cemetery Road series)
The Author: Kate Klise (Illustrations by M. Sarah Klise)
The Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Genre: Middle Grade (for those of you not sure, that means ages 8-12, but even big kids like me can enjoy it, too)
Available for purchase: May 2011

Seymour Hope lives in a haunted house with his parents Ignatius B. Grumply and Olive Spence (a ghost) and Olive's cat, Shadow.  Their peaceful cohabitation becomes anything but when a dog follows young Seymour home.  Mr. Grumply and Olive are less than thrilled when Seymour begs them to allow him to keep Secret (the dog), especially since Secret thinks he needs to bark from sunset till sunrise every single day.  Even with their distaste of the dog, Seymour's parents grudgingly allow the boy to keep Secret, under one condition: that Seymour must make every effort to locate and return Secret to his rightful owners.

Meanwhile, the town's oldest living resident passes away and his greedy, spoiled, selfish children descend upon the town, searching for the old man's fortune.  The man, in question, however knew how his children's minds worked and devised a plan to make them work to find this millions. 

What ensues is fun little game of hide and seek and treasure hunt all in one.  Especially since this book is told completely in multi-media.  Letters, newspaper articles, message board posts, and even a meeting transcription all tell the story of a boy, a dog, a treasure hunt, and one really big Secret.  A fun read for any kid, no matter your age.