animal fiction that young readers will adore
Review,  Fiction,  Middle Grade

Dog Squad (Dog Squad #1) by Chris Grabenstein – animal fiction that young readers will adore

Dog Squa Dog Squad is entertaining, adventurous, and fast paced animal fiction that young readers will adore and even dog lovers of all age will love to read.

animal fiction that young readers will adore

Dog Squad (Dog Squad #1) by Chris Grabenstein

Publication Date : May 11th 2021

Publisher : Random House Books for Young Readers

Genre : Middle Grade / Animal Fiction

Pages : 336

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclaimer- Many thanks to PRH international for providing e-copy via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links.


When trouble calls . . . it’s DOG SQUAD to the rescue!

Duke is not your average dog. Along with his crew, he fights crime and goes on claw-biting adventures helping dogs in peril in the hit streaming sensation–DOG SQUAD! Fred is a pretty average dog. He’s scrappy. He’s loveable. But he’s not brave like his heroes on Dog Squad.

Fred looks an awful lot like Duke from Dog Squad though. In fact, when Duke needs a stand-in, Fred’s the perfect choice. But the Dog Squad action doesn’t always stop on screen! When there’s danger in real life, can Fred find the courage to step up and save the day?! 


adventurous, and fast paced animal fiction that young readers will adore

Dog Squad is fun and adventurous animal fiction that revolves around Fred, an average underdog who learns to be courageous and finds his forever home. The story is about bravery, courage, fighting fears, friendship, and family.

Writing is easy to follow for young readers, imaginative, and entertaining. The story is written in third person narrative from Fred’s POV. The setting of animal shelters and Second Chance Ranch, home for stray dogs who work in shows and movies is amazing.

Plot is straightforward but filled with adventure. It started with Fred, an average mixed breed dog watching his favorite show ‘Dog Squad’ on TV that leads to destroying the cushions and the sofa that doesn’t turn out well with his owner Big Tony. Big Tony is a mean, money-minded person who brought Fred home thinking he could train him to be a guard dog and will get lots of money by selling the trained dog but Fred is a lovable dog, at all scary, and can never be a guard dog. Fred only wanted to have forever home, be part of family and Big Tony obviously isn’t what he dreams of.

When Big Tony kicks Fred out of house for ruining sofa, he ends up in alley and in animal shelter but fortunately, he is noticed by a good animal handler who takes him to audition for show and eventually gets a temporary role in the Dog Squad show as Fred looks exactly like main hero of Dog Squad, Duke, who broke his leg and couldn’t work in the show. But he isn’t sure he could be the hero he has seen in the TV.

It was interesting to see how Fred will get over his fears, how he will bear the pressure of working in TV shows, be the hero not just in show but in real life too, and if his dream of finding a forever home will come true.

Dog lovers of all age will love Fred. He is lovely, compassionate, caring, and protective dog. In the beginning, we see him as anxious dog who doesn’t like his current owner. His story of how he ends up with Big tony is touching and I wanted to hug this lovely dog. He is kind hearted dog who likes to help everyone, even a mouse who takes leftover cheese of Big Tony. But Tony and other humans it looked like he is scared of mouse. He doesn’t see himself a hero but very early in story we see how brave and courageous Fred is. It takes courage to help total stranger, stand up against bullies, and saving little pup even if that means going against his owner’s command and he does it all without being afraid of consequences. Best thing about him was he is such a humble soul. He never boasts when he does something amazing and arrogance isn’t in his blood even when he permanently replaces original Duke. I felt for him when he has to face Big Tony again and when Cha Cha, a female Chow Chow discouraged him so often. I loved how he does heroic actions when real-life dangers comes and follows his instinct when his friend needed him.

All dogs are amazing, quirky, and fun to read. Scruffy and Nala are my favorite. They are as brave as Fred and I liked them for saving Duke even though he is always awful with them. Tater is such an adorable puppy and I even liked Reginald.

Jenny and Abby are amazing too. Jenny is dog trainer who adopts stray dogs and train them for shows, movies and commercials and gives them their forever home. Abby is her middle-grade niece who is a pet psychic, allegedly. It was great how they work and I loved Abby’s connection with Tater and how she tries to understand all dogs’ feelings.

Best part is all the Dog Squad scenes and their adventure. I loved how author shows through Duke that people are different from their characters in shows and movies, they aren’t always how we assum them to be. I also liked many wise lines and message of facing fear, courage and what true hero is. It was great that even humans who were mean aren’t abusive which makes the story perfect for young kids.

Twist and turns aren’t surprising but they are well written. Climax is action-packed, tense with Adelaide hurricane and dog going out to be true hero. I liked how author wraps the story and gives forever home to even dogs who are bullies for most of the story.

Author’s note is another best part. Fred’s wags to riches tale is actually inspired by author’s dog whose name was also Fred and I loved reading how he too was a show dog before author adopted him.

Overall, Dog Squad is entertaining, fun, adventurous, and fast paced animal fiction that young readers will adore and even dog lovers of all age will love to read.

I highly recommed this if you like,
animal fiction
quick adventurous story
well written action scenes by dogs
animate dog movies like Bolt

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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