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What to know: Wonderful stories about an intriguing dog who solves mysteries.
Recommended age 8-12
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The first book of the series called Upton Charles is Disappearing Diamonds. This series is told from the perspective of a dog named Upton Charles who is underestimated not only by his family but by everyone else around him. Later in the book, he begins to be honored. This story revolves around a case of a stolen diamond necklace from a museum. The case can not be cracked by anyone else, so Upton Charles steps in to solve the mystery and, along the adventure, he gets closer to his family than ever before.

I like the book because the author describes the storyline in an interesting way. The vocabulary is first to third grade level. Upton Charles has an adorable and curious personality which is a good personality for a main character. Though many books have a plot of a dog, I have never before heard of a book about a dog that is a detective. That makes it creative. Another think I like is how the author thoroughly introduces a descriptive background of Upton Charles in the first book of the series.

Though the book has good sides, I have some issues with it. One is that there are some scenes that seem unnecessary and can be confusing. Also, the book is intended for 6 to 9 and I am older than that so, I'm not the perfect audience. I also thought that the author could have been more creative about the diamond necklace's whereabouts. It seems a bit too realistic and predictable. After all, this is a children's book so why not add more creativity and imagination into the crime scenes.

The moral of the story is that no matter what shape and size you are, differences do not matter. As long as one puts their mind to it, they can achieve whatever they want, whenever they want. I recommend the book for 6 to 9-year-olds and rate it 3 out of 5 stars. Overall, the book is good but I'm a bit older than the targeted age. By Hailee Hutton, KIDS FIRST! Critic, age 12.

Upton Charles the Detective Dog is an intriguing dog who solves mysteries with the help of his owners. His family consists of a mom, dad, a brother and sister. I like that this mystery gets off to a quick start when the dad receives a phone call from a friend who works at the museum. A valuable Van Camp necklace is missing! This necklace is part of an exhibit and is quite valuable. So, off to the Museum they go. The middle is simply entertaining to read and educational as well due to the historical facts about artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The story is not just fun to read, children can learn about art and the artists known as the Impressionists. This actually could motivate children to want to learn more about art from this time period. It's both an entertaining and educational story to read. Children will enjoy reading as Upton finds the different clues and pieces them all together to solve the mystery. I also like that the mystery is not predictable and it teaches some facts about real and fake diamonds. The beginning, middle and ending flow well together to make this a good story with educational and entertaining elements. It's perfect for school-aged kids.
A Dog-Gone Good Book Upton Charles is a lot like you and me. He likes to be with his family, play with his friends and go on nice walks. Except Upton isn't like you and me...because he is a little white dog, a Bichon Frise (that's "BEE-shon free-ZEY"). Upton is also very smart and knows an important clue when he smells one. Our dog detective is recruited to help find the Van Camp diamonds that have disappeared from the local museum. Join Upton as he sniffs out evidence to find a valuable missing necklace in Disappearing Diamonds.
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