HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Spy Game
Author and Illustrator: J. D. Holiday
Publisher: Book Garden Publishing, 2012
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Holiday, J. D. The Spy Game (originally written in 2003; published in 2012 by Book Garden Publishing LLC). Is it possible for a dog to help look for a lost cat? Eddie Caldwell does not want the older, big black dog which his Uncle Reese has brought. Instead, he wants a puppy which would do things like pulling on a rope, catching a ball, and licking his face. All the new dog, named Sidney after a famous spy, does is sit and watch Eddie. But Sidney proves that he is brave when they hear a mysterious creaking noise during the night. One morning, while walking Sidney before school, Eddie meets two of his friends, Joel and Dana. Dana’s cat is missing, and she thinks it was stolen by some people. She plans to watch their house to see if she can find it. Can “spy dog” Sidney do anything to find the cat?
Author and illustrator J. D. Holiday, who also wrote The Great Snowball Escapade, which I have reviewed previously, and Janoose the Goose, tells a wonderful story about the growing bond between a boy and his dog. The book, with its appealing illustrations and element of mystery, is a fun tale that will make an enjoyable read aloud for youngsters and that will be great for beginning readers as well. Holiday says that Sidney is based on a puppy that her brother Ike’s dog Sheeba had. He named it Sidney Reilly after a spy series they watched together and loved. When the puppy was eleven months old, Ike died of a heart attack, and Sidney came to live with her. I give The Spy Game five stars! What will Eddie and Sidney’s next case be?