Published by Holiday House on October 1st 2013
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Peter Lubinsky doesn't even like dogs and can't understand why he asked for one for his birthday. But it turns out that this pet, whom Peter calls The Dog, can talk and do magic—and he needs Peter's help. In return, The Dog promises to teach Peter conjuring and to help him bring his father home from the Middle East, where he is deployed with the air force. Soon Peter finds himself flying through the air on a mission to rescue The Dog's master. But as Peter's magical powers grow, he finds himself filled with a dark anger.
A bedroom full of dinosaur fossils, a waiter who was formerly a mouse, and an epic battle of magician's make for a thrilling read. This imaginative middle-grade fantasy is about the power of enchantment and love.
From the beginning, I could tell that The Misadventures of the Magician's Dog had a promising start, as Peter seemingly has lost control of his own body and suddenly tells his mother he wants a dog for his birthday. It doesn't help that she is willing to let him have one, possibly to make up for the fact that his father is overseas as an Airforce pilot. Then it happens again, when they are at the pound his mouth speaks words without him meaning to, picking out a strange looking dog that seems to understand him.
In fact, he does and starts talking to Peter once they are alone. Being the pet of a former Magician, he enlists Peter's help to find his master and turn him back from a rock. Peter has his own potential for magic, but only when he gets really angry. As Peter struggle to learns magic, he struggles with the newfound power and the way he is changing because of it.
With the help of the dog and his sisters, he goes to the magician's house and finds out that maybe being a magician would turn him evil but finds it necessary to help save his sisters. I love this dilemma, as Peter is not the type of boy that you would look at and think is brave. When it comes to his family though, he has to find his own inner strength and realizes there is more to him than he thought.
Final Verdict: Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Misadventures of the Magician's Dog which was a quick and adventureful read. I would definitely recommend it for upper elementary students who like a mix of magic in their reading.