About the Book
Author: LJ Clarkson
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Number of Pages: 151
Synopsis: Dog-fearer extraordinaire, Barny Pedrotter is the world’s most unlikely Alpha. To him, mutts are the worst. Protective. Snappy. Love the taste of Barny’s pants. Proven when the millionth Pomeranian attacks him on the way to school, sparking childhood fears. The whole thing-him crying and leaping onto his best mate’s back, and trying to defend his pants with a newspaper-is caught on video and goes viral. Thanks to the local newspaper twisting the facts and branding him a dog beater, he loses his vacation position at LC Comics. Now he’s left with three days to find another job, or else flunk ninth grade.
Trouble is, the only available position is training Mr. Lucius’ cursed and disobedient hellhounds to track his missing father. No matter how scared Barny is, he’d rather face the fleabags than fail school. Except working with Mr. Lucius drags Barny into a millennia-old family feud, where Louis’ jealous, scheming sister, Gaybreeal, tries every little dirty trick to sabotage them and spark a war between Heaven and Earth. Barny must summon the Alpha within to command the hounds, or end up on their menu.
When Barny is attacked by a vicious Pomeranian and the school bully captures it on video, he doesn't think life could get any worse. Then he enters his homeroom class, where the teacher is definitely out to get him and things begin to spiral out of control. Now, LC Comics thinks he's an animal abuser and cancel his dream vacation position. Without a summer job passing the 9th grade is in jeopardy. Not to mention things haven't been the same since his dad left.
Mr. Lucias, owner of two hellhounds and actively involved in a feud with his siblings that has lasted more than 1,000 years, is in search of the Alpha who can train his dogs and break the spell his good for nothing sister cast on them. But, when the hounds choose Barny as their Alpha there's no telling what might happen.
My favorite part of the story has to be the creative character names like Gaybreeal, Lucius, Mikhail, and of course the Almighty, known simply as Pop. Anyone with Biblical knowledge will catch the references, although some children may not. There is also a lot to be learned in this book. There is the school bully who incessantly torments Barny, but in the end gets his just rewards. This will delight readers and is a reminder of the saying, "what goes around, comes around." The story shows us the best way to overcome a fear is to face it head on, just as Barny does with the hellhounds. It's also a story of forgiveness, second chances, and unconditionally love, something the bickering siblings need a lesson in. The evil schemes and bits of magic keep readers engaged. I found the story to be well-penned and wildly entertaining. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
I definitely recommend picking up a copy. Available on Amazon.