Benji Wendell Barnsworth is a small ten-year-old boy with a big personality. Born premature, Benji is sickly and accident prone and has a tendency to faint—a lot. He’s at the hospital so often, he even has his own punch card. That is, until the day Benji wakes up from a particularly bad spell. Concerned for Benji’s health, the doctor offers him two options: wear the world’s ugliest padded helmet or get a therapy dog.

Benji chooses the dog, of course. But when a massive crate arrives at Benji’s house, out walks a two-hundred-pound Newfoundland. And that isn’t even the strangest thing
about the dog. He announces that his name is Parker Elvis Pembroke IV. That’s right, this dog can talk! And boy, is he bossy. Having a bossy dog can come in handy, though. Elvis brings out the dog lover in the most surprising people and shows Benji that making new friends may not be as scary as he once thought.

From a fresh new voice comes the hilarious and poignant story about the importance of finding your own pack.



ElvisPawPrint_ico Selected by IndieBound (Independent Booksellers Assoc) – to be one of the 10 “NEW VOICES”  - which highlights books by first-time authors for both kids 8-12 and teens. The books are chosen by a committee of independent children’s booksellers from around the country. These 10 titles came from more than 70 submissions from a wide range of publishers.


Read the reviews!











Elvis is a two-hundred-pound, black Newfoundland who was born and trained on a farm in Tennessee. He thinks he’s smarter than you, and he’s probably right. In fact, he likes to think he’s the smartest dog in the United States, if not the world. Elvis a large vocabulary, went through two years of rigorous training, and even believes he could Fly Air Force One if he had thumbs. His goals are to serve his country as the President of the United States’ dog, win a Nobel Prize, and possibly even run for public office one day. BUT Elvis’ favorite foods are Nacho Cheese Doritos, Cool Ranch Doritos, and Taco Doritos. His biggest regret is that he can’t drive a car to the Taco Bell drive thru and get a Cool Ranch Dorito shell taco, because he’s absolutely sure he’d really, really like it. And he knows this, because again, he’s smarter than you.


Taisy is a tomboy with superior athletic skills. She can run faster, play ball better, jump higher and kick harder. She’s a hypercompetitive winner. BUT Taisy is also girly, loves her dog Princess Daisy, has adorable cursive handwriting, and likes dotting the i in her name with a heart, a star, or sunburst. Even though she knows she shouldn’t, she loves writing and passing notes in school. She also loves smelly stickers, doggy stickers, all puppies, nail polish, glitter pens, floral shoelaces, cute t-shirts, pretty dresses, wrapping presents with fancy paper and colorful ribbons and doing cartwheels. 



Benji is small for his age, asthmatic, allergic to almost everything and super clumsy. He falls down a lot, faints when nervous, spends lots of time in the hospital, gets picked on by his older twin brothers, and babied by his mom. BUT Benji is also super smart, a bit of a wise guy, a straight shooter with a great sense of humor. The only thing bigger than Benji’s heart is his even bigger personality. He is proud of his sock collection, prefers cotton socks over wool socks, and knows how to make seven different types of paper airplanes. His favorite dessert is a banana split (with no nuts because he’s allergic), and his second favorite dessert is anything his mom makes because she’s an amazing baker.


Alexander is the brilliant half-Jewish, half-Korean new kid in town. Has total recall, which means he remembers every single moment of every single day. Alexander is super smart, loves all things techno, loves rules, and is extremely loyal. He also likes maps, charts and numbers. He even likes school and doing homework. BUT Alexander also loves knock-knock jokes and barbecue, and has a cowlick that gives him crazy bed head in the mornings. 




Meet The Author : Jenny Lee



When I look back on my life, I mostly think about dogs.

My first dog was a mixed breed named Julie. (Hey, I’m also against giving dogs human-y names, but don’t blame me. I was six years old!) Julie apparently ran away and joined the circus after she had a run-in with the gas meter guy. Or so I was told. Again, I was six. I didn’t ask questions.

My second dog was a cocker spaniel puppy named Scottie (named after Scott Air Force base, where my dad worked as a surgeon.) Scottie was ridiculously adorable and had really great hair. Then there was Oscar, a black Labrador, who was such an overachiever that when I taught him to fetch our newspaper, he went ahead and fetched every single newspaper in the entire neighborhood. Dexter was another black Labrador who liked to dump the trash can, so my mom sent him to live on a farm. (Yes, a real one. I swear).

Sasha was a German Shepherd mix that I saved off the street in Newport, Rhode Island, when I was away at boarding school. I wasn’t allowed to keep dogs at school so my parents took him. Then, after high school, I spent ten very long, very sad, dogless years living in New York City. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I got Wendell the Wheaten Terrier.  I was so obsessed with him I wrote a book called What Wendell Wants: How to Tell If You’re Obsessed With Your Dog. (I was. Obsessed. Enough said.) Now I live in Los Angeles with my darling, amazing, super-cute, giant black Newfoundland, Doozy. She’s a sweetheart. I mean, just look at the pictures of her below. 

So that’s basically me and my life. But I guess there’s also a little bit more. Elvis and the Underdogs is my first kids’ book. I did write four other books, but they were for boring adults. I worked as a writer and producer of Shake It Up! on the Disney Channel for three seasons. I have recently switched my favorite M&M and now like the orange pack Peanut Butter M&M’s the best. I love movies and books and popcorn. I have the best friends in the entire world. No, seriously, I do. I recently got bangs, but I’m thinking of growing them back out. Oh yeah, the sequel to Elvis and the Underdogs will be out next year. If you liked this book, boy, oh boy, will you like the next one too! 


Children’s Book World Event 5/18/2013


Pictures of Doozy, Jenny Lee's Newfoundland.



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