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The Good, the Bad, and the Beagle


The Good, the Bad, and the Beagle

“If you could reach out, there was always a hand to hold, somewhere, in the world”.  (Page 313}
Is there just anything cuter than a puppy?  Eleven-year-old Veronica Morgan has totally fallen in love with a little Beagle puppy at the pet store where she often visits.  Her life would be at least a little better if she had a puppy.  After all, she has no siblings and her parents, great as they are, don’t seem to understand her.  She doesn’t have any friends (so much for her former “friend” Cricket) and soon she will be entering sixth  grade at the Randolf School for Girls.  That means new faces, new teachers, new classes and yes, uniforms!  She has little confidence that she is going to be able to survive these traumas.
This book will undoubtedly bring a tear to some eyes but will also leave its readers with a sense of warmth and satisfaction.
Living in the big city and in an apartment means there is no yard for a dog, so she realizes that having one is probably just a dream. The good thing is, she regularly walks Fitzy, the Dachshund who belongs to the family on the 10th floor of their building. She decides she will just continue to badger her parents and get on with school.  Oh the misery of it all!
School starts, and Veronica is immediately invited to join a click called “The A Team.”  The girls are popular, pretty and weird…Veronica can’t help but wonder if they might have some kind of motive for befriending her, but she’s happy to feel so accepted.  That year, Veronica  finds out what real friends are, and it’s a year filled with amazing highs and awful lows. 
Does Veronica ever get her dog?  Yes she does, and she names the little Beagle Cadbury.  Veronica couldn’t be a better dog owner and the whole family totally loves this affectionate, sweet fella with floppy ears.  Cadbury teaches Veronica and her parents so much about love, caring and acceptance.  Cadbury brings the best out in everyone.
Veronica’s parents are loving and supportive of their only child but they cannot protect her from some of the sorrows and pains life, school, friends and growing up bring her.
This is a beautiful little book about coming of age, not just for Veronica, but those around her too.  It’s a book about taking the hand of a friend and knowing when to step back, and also knowing when to accept the most difficult lessons life brings.  THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE BEAGLE offers many joys, including celebrating Jewish holidays and listening in on the fun conversations that take place around the Morgan table.  Catherine Lloyd Burns has so captured the angst and pain of a young girl’s journey in life.  This book will undoubtedly bring a tear to some eyes but will also leave its readers with a sense of warmth and satisfaction.

Reviewed by Sally Tibbetts on October 28, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Beagle
by Catherine Lloyd Burns

  • Publication Date: August 22, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • ISBN-10: 1250091659
  • ISBN-13: 9781250091659