Sunday, September 9, 2012

MMGM: The Fast And The Furriest by Andy Behrens

About The Book: Meet Kevin Pugh, 12-year-old couch potato. Now meet Cromwell, his part beagle, part potato chip dog. Kevin’s looking forward to spending his summer doing as little as possible. Unfortunately, Kevin’s father, former Chicago Bears star player/super-sports fanatic, Howie Pugh, feels differently. So does Cromwell, who has suddenly and mysteriously developed a fascination with agility competitions: running up seesaws, leaping over hurdles, soaring through hoops (sometimes). If he has to do anything, Kevin would rather do something for newly obsessed Cromwell, but dog agility lessons do not constitute a sport in his father’s mind, so football camp it is. Until some well-timed events collide, literally, and soon Kevin’s found a way for he and Cromwell to take classes, and the upstart Team Cromwell is born.

First Line: Twelve-year-old Kevin Pugh stood on the pitcher's mound.

What Others Are Saying: "In spite of a clichéd plot and caricaturelike secondary characters, Behrens's engaging style will appeal to children. Students will relate to likable Kevin's self-deprecating humor, and Cromwell's perseverance gives anyone with an unrealized dream a glimmer of hope."—Kim Dare on School Library Journal

"This semi-sports story reads like a Cinderella tale in which the protagonist rises above his own apathy, rather than nasty relatives, to achieve hero status. Secondary characters, such as Elka, the eccentric trainer at the dog school, and Kevin’s best friend, Zach, who has grand visions of sponsorship deals for Cromwell, are effective foils. Plot surprises are few, but the abundant humor makes this a satisfying underdog story in the tradition of Gordon Korman’s and David Lubar’s novels." —Kara Dean on Booklist

What I Thought: This was a fun quick read, perfect for the hard-to-please reluctant reader. The action is fast paced and there are some very funny scenes. I was a little disappointed with many of the  secondary characters. The Dad was just caricature. This is a good choice for  8-9 year old boys, older readers may find the plot fairly predictable. I liked the way Kevin finds something he enjoys that is physical and gets him off the couch. The dialogue is lively and Cromwell is incredibly lovable.

Check out this great agility video to get an idea of what Kevin and Cromwell were up to.

About The Author: 
Andy Behrens  
Blog Yahoo Sports

Author Andy Behrens has written three young adult novels: The Fast and the Furriest, All the Way, and Beauty and the Bully. His first novel, All the Way, was the inspiration for the 2008 movie, Sex Drive.

Other than novel writing, Andy has written for the Chicago Reader, Flak magazine, and, amongst other publications. Currently, he works as the editor of Y! Sports’ Roto Arcadelives from his home in Chicago with his wife and daughter.


  1. Sounds like a good pick for boys. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I love the cover of this book. It sounds like a fun read for kids. It is always nice to find books that might appeal to reluctant readers, isn't it?

  3. I've never heard of this book, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I didn't know anything about agility competitions, either. Great subject for a book!


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