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Dodger and Me [Audio]


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About the Author

Jordan Sonnenblick is the author of the acclaimed teen novels Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Notes from the Midnight Driver, and Zen and the Art of Faking it. In addition to being a writer, he's a middle-school English teacher and would never penalize one of his students for bringing an imaginary friend to school. Jordan lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their two children. If he's ever had an imaginary friend, he's not telling! You can visit him on the Web at


Gr 4-7-In this sweet but predictable novel, Willie Ryan is a boy with three problems: he's terrible at baseball and keeps letting his team down, his mother is overprotective, and a girl named Lizzie won't leave him alone. A detour through the woods leads him to a genielike blue chimpanzee called Dodger, who is at first visible only to the fifth grader. Dodger's attempts to solve Willie's problems lead to disaster. Some of the situations are funny, as when the boy's love for banana yogurt leads to chaos in the cafeteria, and Dodger's surfer-inspired vocabulary and wild ideas for improving Willie's life make for some lighter moments. However, some of the humor seems strained, and most of the characters, especially Willie's parents, are not well developed. Lizzie is also a bit of a mystery, as is her matter-of-fact reaction when Dodger appears to her. It's no surprise when Willie realizes that he's grown attached to Dodger despite the chimp's ineptitude, that he doesn't really want his mother to become a different person, and that he likes Lizzie after all. Baseball fans will enjoy this novel, while other readers will likely find the story amusing but shallow.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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