Saturday, August 30, 2014

Walking and Listening to "Elvis and the Underdogs"

Lee, Jenny. Elvis and the Underdogs. 6hrs. 19 min. Harper Audio. 2013. Digital Download from OverDrive

Yes, Benji is small. He gets picked on by the class bully. He doesn't have any friends. He is accident prone and he misses a lot of school because he is frequently ill. In fact he is hospitalized so often that Dino, a nurse at the hospital, has made him a punch card that once Benji fills, he gets a special treat. People at school typically ignore him, that is until he has a seizure in the hallway. After his seizure, Benji is given two options: wear a helmet or get a service dog. While he instantly realizes the supreme nerdiness of the helmet and refuses to wear it, his mother doesn't want to get him a dog due to his allergies. After Benji spends one rather miserable day at school in his helmet, his mother agrees that a dog is a much better solution than the helmet. Enter Parker Elvis Pembroke IV, a dog much bigger than Benji's family had been expecting. Not only is he huge, he can talk and has quite an extensive vocabulary. At first Elvis is rather confused by Benji and his home and soon realizes there has been a mix-up. Elvis was supposed to be delivered to the White House, not Benji's house. When Benji tries to explain this to his mother, she instantly freaks out because Benji is hearing the dog talk and rushes him to the hospital. While waiting for yet another MRI, Benji runs into Taisy, the most athletic girl in his class. She is quickly enamored by Elvis and a friendship between Benji and Taisy slowly begins. Benji, with some nudging from Elvis, meets Alexander, a new boy in school who has the most remarkable brain. Benji realizes, thanks to Elvis, that having a "pack" is a pretty amazing thing to have.

Patrick Lawlor does a nice job narrating this story. While there isn't a ton of variation between some of the supporting characters voices, there is enough variation to tell who is speaking. Elvis' voice matched what I would have thought he sounded like perfectly. He sounded very dignified, knowledgeable and mature.

I took this picture one afternoon as I was walking and listening.

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