The Underdogs (The Underdogs, #1)
Welcome to the town of Barksdale, where the canine residents strive for perfection. Every shopkeeper claims to be the "best groomer" or sell the "best biscuits." And at Barksdale Academy, the pressure is on every year for one pup to be named Best in Show.
Nova, Duke, Harley, and Peanut have never won Best in Show... which is okay with them! But they have to work together to pass their Agility Exam, because either the whole pack passes or the whole pack fails.
Nova has convinced her pals to train, but on her practice course, Duke is afraid to climb the high ramp, Harley keeps chasing squirrels, and Peanut can't make it through the hoops. Nova's not doing much bettershe's so excited she keeps knocking the whole course over!
Will the pups make the grade, or are they doomed to be Underdogs forever?
With black-and-white illustrations on every page and hilarious antics throughout, this series is perfect for readers who are just starting to read chapter books on their own, or for anyone who loves a good underdog story!
What I loved: This was a simple and adorable early chapter book read. The plot has some great lessons about friendship, supporting others, trying your best, and celebrating yourself for your personal achievements. These pups are super-cute and each has their own fun personality, coming to life in this sweet story. This would work well for children who are just beginning to read chapter books, with large font, large illustrations on each page, and a great length. This would also be a fun read to share at bedtime. Between the adorable illustrations and relatable pups, this is a read everyone can enjoy.
What left me wanting more: As a super small point, there were a couple of things for humor that might need additional context/iteration for younger readers, such as a dog eating flies and calling them raisins, with the disclaimer for kids that this is not at all the case and do not try it please.
Final verdict: THE UNDERDOGS is a charming and sweet early chapter book read about friendship and embracing yourself as you are.