Fifth grade has a lot of friend drama that crops up at school, so Marty's fear of his new school is one that many young readers will share. I'm not a fan of calling characters "dorks", but the fear of being excluded is a real one, and the fact that Marty does find people with whom he has a lot in common will reassure readers who struggle with making friends.
I'm a big fan of robotic dogs like the Sony Aibo or the new Tombot, so Awesome Dog's antic were fun for me to read. Of course, such an awesome pet needs a super evil villain to challenge him, and Dr. Crazypants (while politically incorrect) is a lot of fun.
Adults will no doubt pick apart this notebook style novel, but readers who enjoyed Jay Cooper's Spy Next Door, Barnett's Mac B.: Spy Kid, or the goofy goodness of Falatko's Two Dogs in a Trench Coat will laugh themselves silly over Marty's antics in this new series.