Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service

( 2 )

Overview

Perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio and Gordon Korman, this is the hilarious and heartwarming sequel to Elvis and the Underdogs from author Jenny Lee, former writer on the popular Disney Channel show Shake It Up.

It's been months since Benji's former safety dog, Elvis, was whisked away by the Secret Service, but Benji still misses him terribly. Luckily, because Elvis is now the president's dog, there are plenty of pictures and videos of him ...

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Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service

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Overview

Perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio and Gordon Korman, this is the hilarious and heartwarming sequel to Elvis and the Underdogs from author Jenny Lee, former writer on the popular Disney Channel show Shake It Up.

It's been months since Benji's former safety dog, Elvis, was whisked away by the Secret Service, but Benji still misses him terribly. Luckily, because Elvis is now the president's dog, there are plenty of pictures and videos of him online.

While watching the footage of the president's speech on the White House lawn, Benji and his friends Alexander and Taisy see Elvis thumping his tail repeatedly. Is he trying to tell Benji something? The kids realize it's actually a code! And Elvis needs their help.

And so begins another madcap adventure in which these underdog best friends will have to find a way to travel to DC, find out the truth behind Elvis's distress signals, and uncover state secrets without getting caught . . . or they may have to say good-bye to Elvis for good.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-31
Happy-go-lucky Benji Barnsworth and his fellow underdogs pursue goofy adventures through Washington, D. C., in Lee's feel-good sequel to Elvis and the Underdogs (2013). It's been three months since Elvis, Benji's talking service/therapy/emotional-support dog was returned to his original assignment: the president of the United States. Landing in the hospital yet again, Benji searches for videos of the curmudgeonly first dog and finds Elvis wagging an urgent message in Morse code, which Alexander Chang-Cohen, his "human computer" friend, naturally deciphers. Benji, along with Alexander and perky star athlete Taisy, must get to Washington (via convenient coincidences tailored to their character traits) and rescue Elvis from becoming a prime minister's birthday present. It's best to abandon disbelief as the "pack" wreaks havoc on the White House in a series of slapstick mishaps and miscommunications. The service-dog terminology remains careless, but Elvis' elaborately denied jealousy of Benji's new dog provides comic banter as well as relationship development—he gets in some great deadpan one-liners. Alexander and Taisy are nearly caricatures, but at least their extreme traits illustrate the book's message: Friendship "requires a tolerance pact. You tolerate all my weirdo quirky things and I'll tolerate yours." The resolution is fluffy if implausible, with any loose ends tied in a bow—but then, the chronically, wackily unfortunate Benji deserves to have something go right. A light, warm and (very) fuzzy read. (Fiction. 8-12)
Booklist
“[A] rich, funny tale”
Booklist (starred review)
Praise for ELVIS AND THE UNDERDOGS: “A funny, unabashedly feel-good boy-and-dog story. . . . This crowd-pleasing debut is definitely ready for prime time.”
School Library Journal
05/01/2014
Gr 3–6—It has been months since Benji Barnsworth watched the Secret Service drive away with Elvis, the 200-pound Newfoundland therapy dog originally intended for the president, but who was delivered to Benji by mistake. Ripley, his new therapy dog, is fine, but he doesn't talk. Benji misses Elvis, so he and friends Taisy and Alexander keep tabs on Elvis online. Benji notices that Elvis looks a bit strange during one presidential speech, and he realizes that Elvis is sending a coded message with his tail—he needs help. The group of friends must get to Washington, DC, and rescue Elvis. It's easy enough to suspend disbelief and embrace a talking dog. The idea of two erroneously-delivered therapy dogs is a stretch, but when one recipient is the President of the United States, credulity strains. Benji's winning voice and his madcap antics charmed in the first installment, but the sequel doesn't hold up as well and feels overly long. While it is unlikely that many middle-grade readers will be familiar with White House protocol and security measures, some may have a hard time buying the ease with which Benji and his pals not only get to DC, but gain access to the White House. The narrator is a sweet and earnest character, if a bit self-aware. The adults are little more than clueless props, while the action is over-the-top slapstick.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062235565
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/27/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 137,128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jenny Lee is a writer and producer on the TBS sitcom Ground Floor. She was also a writer and producer of the Disney Channel's number-one-rated kids' show Shake It Up for all three seasons and is the author of four humor essay books. Elvis and the Underdogs was Jenny's first book for children. She lives in Los Angeles with her 110-pound Newfoundland, Doozy (and yes, it's a toss-up as to who's walking whom every day).

Kelly Light lives in New York but grew up down the shore in New Jersey surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped.

Kelly has illustrated Elvis and the Underdogs and Elvis and the Underdogs: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service by Jenny Lee, and the Quirks series by Erin Soderberg. This is her first picture book.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2014

    Hi Love Me

    I thing this is a great book even though i am only like half way threw it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2014

    It has been months since Benji last saw Elvis. He is adapting

    It has been months since Benji last saw Elvis. He is adapting to life with Ripley but Benji is so sad to not be able to see Elvis daily. He sends him letters, which Special Agent Daniels promises are getting read to Elvis. One day Benji is watching the news when he see Elvis trying to communicate to him. Could it be? Could Elvis be in trouble? Go along while Benji, Alexander and Taisy try their hardest to get to Washington DC to help Elvis.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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