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Friday, 23 August 2013

Night of the Howling Hound (Undead Pets) by Sam Hay

Night of the Howling Hound - Undead Pets 3

Joe is just an ordinary boy until he makes a wish on a spooky Egyptian amulet...Now he's the Protector of Undead pets! Joe is off on a school trip to an adventure camp, and he can't wait to put Uncle Charlie's survival tips into practice! But it's not long before he's visited by Dexter, a scruffy-looking dog, with a howling tale of woe. Dexter doesn't want his owner feeling guilty for his death, but it'll be hard for Joe to intervene this time - it turns out that the owner is Joe's headmaster, the dreaded Mr Hill! Undead Pets is full of animal zombies and pets with one last thing to do before they pass to the other side! Funny, dark and full of adventure this series is ideal for boys seeking a fast-paced and amusing chapter book.

This is third book in a new series by Sam Hay, which I have mentioned previously on my blog here. Joe is the main character who, thanks to a gift from his uncle following a trip to Egypt, can now talk to pets who have died but still have unresolved business which needs to be settled before they can rest in peace. It is a strange idea for a series of books but I have seen that it is a popular series for boys aged 7+, my son loves the series and I have passed them on to other friends of similar age.

This book is about a 'Howling Hound' who died while chasing a squirrel over the edge of a cliff. He tries to get Joe to help in but Joe is fed up with all of these undead animals visiting him. Although this is the third book in the series, it is not necessary to read the previous two books before starting this one as each book has a quick recap/summary of the back story as to why these animals are visiting Joe.  The books will appeal to boys especially, and particularly those who like to ask questions or believe the unbelievable. 

The chapters are of a suitable length for a chapter before bed, although I am sure one chapter may often become two, due to the great storytelling. The text is clear and easy to read, with the author often using different words to the usual common words to describe the scene or characters, which is great for  young readers to practice their skills and learn new vocabulary. 

There are great illustrations throughout the book by Simon Cooper. I initially thought that the cover illustration may deter young readers but everyone who I showed the covers too were very interested in them and wanting to know what the book was about or to pick it up to start to read it.  

Thank you to the publishers, Stripes Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

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