From acclaimed children's author Sara Pennypacker comes the second book in the Waylon! series, Waylon! Even More Awesome (the title is confusing without knowing that the first book was called Waylon! One Awesome Thing). Readers of the seven Clementine books from Disney Hyperion may remember Waylon as one of Clementine's classmates. While this was my introduction to Pennypacker's work, she made it easily accessible while still giving longtime readers a few inside nods.
Waylon loves science and idolizes both his scientist mother and Neil deGrasse Tyson. His other interest, however, is a stray dog named "Dumpster Eddy" who he and a classmate named Baxter like to visit and walk at the local shelter. Waylon doesn't really care for Baxter, who is often being called to the principals office, but through their shared love of Eddy they will both learn that you can't judge a book by its cover.
When the shelter's manager goes on maternity leave and a new guard arrives, Eddy is scheduled to be transferred to a rescue in a different city. Neither Waylon nor Baxter are able to bring Eddy home, but they make a plan to rescue him and keep him in an alley igloo for the rest of the winter. While the plan sounds perilous, the boys take great care to make sure that Eddy's every need will be attended to. However, their plans are quickly thwarted and they will have to use their heads to find a better solution, one that is fair to both Waylon, Baxter, and Eddy.
This hardcover chapter book is an easy read recommended for ages six to eight. Illustrations are provided by Marla Frazee, whose pencil drawings are charming and enhance the storytelling for kids. Readers are bound to fall in love with her work... and Dumpster Eddy.
There were seven books in the Clementine series and reading just this one Waylon! book, I can see why Pennypacker is a New York Times bestselling author. While the story is about two boys and a dog, Clementine makes a few appearances and all kids will be able to relate. Especially any kid whose ever been denied a pet.
If you're looking for a way to get your 1st-3rd graders reading, look no further than the Waylon! series. Waylon! Even More Awesome is the second of two books (so far) and kids will love following Waylon and Baxter on this winter quest to save their beloved stray dog.