Monday, June 15, 2015

Raising Rufus by David Fulk- Middle Grade book review and Giveaway

I have a new release middle grade to share with everyone today. It is Raising Rufus by David Fulk. Random House Children's is giving a free copy away to one lucky reader within the US. To enter fill out the rafflecopter form below.

The Story-
Martin Tinker is a 12 year-old boy who would rather collect rocks and bugs than play sports. He spends most of his time in the family barn arranging his collections. On the search for new rocks, he comes across a crack in an old quarry mine and discovers an iced over egg. Surprise! the egg hatches into a T-rex that Martin names Rufus.

Raising Rufus is hard work. He is constantly growing and wants meat. Martin turns to jumbo cans of dog food to keep his pet happy. As time passes, he just can't keep things to himself and lets the new girl at school, Audrey, in on his secret. Together they spend the summer raising Rufus and teaching him tricks, but by the time school is about to start, Rufus is too big to stay alone in the barn and Martin and Audrey know they need adult help. They choose their science teacher as their go-to-guy, but before he can help, the sheriff, Martin's parent's and Mr. Fairfield (richest man in town and owner of the Trout Palace) find out their dino secret.

Now the town knows about Rufus and since adults know best, they take things into their own hands and turn their backs on Martin. What can Martin do? Can he save Rufus from a life of lab science and circus shows?

My Thoughts-
This is a fun book for boy and girl readers. Martin is a character that I found enjoyable and easy to relate too. He loves learning and would rather collect things, read books and play in the woods than do sports. Of course, his opposition to sports brings in a great dynamic with his father because his dad used to be an all-star football player. Again, another relatable plot line, a dad who thinks he knows what is best and doesn't pay much attention to his son.

Best friend Audrey is a wind of change for loner Martin. Suddenly he has a friend, someone to share his adventures and hang out with at school. One problem, she says Ai-yai-yai all the time! So annoying for a reader and it didn't fit in with her personality.  Authors, rule of three please. Any more than three mentions of a quirk in a story and it is over doing things.

Now, onto the adults. I couldn't feel anything but helpless as the adults come in and take everything away from Martin. The antagonist, Mr. Fairfield, was an easy call. From the moment you meet his character you know he will want Rufus as a main attraction. Martin's parents, now there is a doozy. His father completely ignores him and sells Rufus off to get money. There is no thought to other options or of listening to Martin explain about getting Rufus to the University. Epic Fail on dad's part. The fact that he later has a change of heart only slightly gives him points.

This book is about the dream.  The dream that one might find a mystical object and are able to keep it secret, raise it or learn its powers, and then become a popular hero. What kid could resist that? Well written and right on middle grade level. 4 stars!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The title made me think this was a dog story but the cover took care of correcting that idea. Very fun concept and one kids should enjoy. Thanks for your thoughtful review.

  2. What kid could resist it? What adult could resist it? I think my grandkids will love this one. Thanks for the review. I hadn't heard of it.