‘ARF: A Bowser and Birdie Novel’ by Spencer Quinn


Rating: 4 1/2 stars

For those who enjoyed the “Chet and Bernie” series by Spencer Quinn, here is a series for your pint-sized kids to enjoy. “Arf,” the second in the series after “Woof,” is just as entrancing and humorous as the first book. In fact, in this story the mystery of how Birdie’s policeman father died is unraveled. Bowser helps a lot, as do Birdie’s friends in this sleepy town on a bayou.

While the town may seem sleepy, there’s a lot going on. Someone breaks into Birdie’s house, her mother’s job is uncertain, and her friend is in trouble. Birdie, and Bowser, have a mystery to solve. The police chief’s son helps as much as he can even though he’s sure to get in trouble if his father finds out. But Birdie is the only one who can (and will) solve the mystery.

Quinn beautifully evokes life on the water in this small Southern town and his young characters are delightful. One might be certain that Bowser is Chet in another state — or maybe a brother? Their voice is remarkably similar.

This series will be sure to delight dog-lovers and mystery lovers and anyone who enjoys a good read. Perfect for middle grade readers from fourth through sixth grade.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Scholastic Press for review purposes.