Publisher's Note:  

"My name is King. I am a dog. I am also a detective."  King has a very big mystery to solve. His family is missing, and he's been put in the P-O-U-N-D. Why doesn't his beloved human (Kayla) come to get him? When King is adopted by Connor and his mom, things get more confusing. The new family calls him Buddy!

And just as Connor and Buddy start to get acquainted, Connor disappears! Buddy (aka King) has big problems to solve, but with some help from his friend Mouse (a very large dog) and the mysterious cat with no name, he shows what a smart, brave dog can do.  Mystery fans and dog lovers will be swept up in Dori Hillestad Butler's funny, satisfying story... and left eager for Buddy's next adventure.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Albert Whitman & Co.

The Buddy Files (Series) The Case of the Lost Boy

by Dori Butler

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Overall Review:  

Get ready to sit down with your children and experience fun and adventure with the new Buddy Files series by Dori Butler!  Buddy is a lovable, smart K-9 detective that will appeal to young readers and parents alike.  From the case of the missing boy, to mixed-up pups, to the case of the fire alarm, Buddy uses the most important doggy detective tools to solve his mysteries:  a great sense of smell, loyal friends, and quick thinking.  Butler must have a gaggle of first-graders stashed in her office somewhere that she used as humor consultants, as her child-friendly humor is spot-on and engaging.  It’s a guarantee that children will have giggle fits over Buddy’s never-ending list of favorite foods, smile at the concept that dogs can communicate in their own “language” (which, unfortunately for Buddy, humans cannot speak), and enjoy Buddy’s kaleidoscope of doggie friends.  The only element of this series that could have been better focused was the fact that Buddy is involved in multiple mysteries in each book—with various “lists of clues” becoming confusing in a few instances.  Overall this is a great series for younger readers, both as read-alouds and independent reads.  Just be sure to read them in order, as they build on one another and because each has a great lead-in for the next book that will have children anxious to find out what’s going to happen! 

Content Analysis:  

There is absolutely no profanity or sexual content in this series. 

For violence, everything is very mild, with no detail or description.  There is an instance where a boy is missing, and a parent very mildly alludes to the fact that “something bad” may have happened to the boy.  Buddy then worries several times that the boy may be hurt or that “something bad” may have happened.  In another book, it is mentioned that a tornado went through a town.  The description of the aftermath is very mild, but does include a family living in a trailer because their home has been destroyed.  Mostly, there is the fear that Buddy feels when he hears of the tornado, wondering if his family is hurt or “that word”--which phrase is used in the place of “dead” or “killed”.  Buddy simply states that his “family is not ‘that word’”.   The last instance is that there was a fire at the elementary school several years go, and a girl died in the fire, and the students believe that her ghost is haunting the school—as it is written here is as deep as this ever goes, simply stated.  Buddy does investigate to find out if the girl’s ghost is in the school, but gets sidetracked by another mystery and as of the 5th book, we don’t know if there’s ghost in the school.

Mature Subject Matter:  
Mature themes are very mild, and mostly consist of topics that parents may want to discuss with their children.  First, a boy runs away from home, trying to get back to his old house.   Parents, police, and Buddy are all concerned that a man may have kidnapped him, and there is discussion of not getting into cars with strangers.  One suspect in the disappearance of the boy is a strange man who was driving through the neighborhood earlier, and is confronted and asked if he was involved in the disappearance of the child.  Second, throughout the entire series, Buddy is looking for his original family, who seem to have abandoned him.  Buddy wonders where his family is, if they are ok, and why they would have left him all alone.  Third, there is a tornado that destroys a lot of homes in a town.  Buddy is worried that his family and others may have been injured, or ‘that word’ (killed) by the tornado.  Fourth, the families in the stories are dealing with divorce and military deployment.  It's very child-appropriate, but these topics are briefly discussed.  Last, in one book, a new boy in school is wanting to be accepted and so he pulls the fire alarm to prove that he is cool.  The boys who he is trying to impress lock him in  a closet in the school.  Approached very mildly, with no descriptions or actual violence, we simply find the boy in the close and we know that it is the boys who did it.  

This series is recommended for ages 9+, and will be most enjoyed by the 9-12 age group.  If you plan to read this book out loud, then ages 4+ will definitely be interested

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Reviewed By Melissa
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