A rollicking, ripping tall tale…
Intricately and elegantly plotted, and full of vividly rendered details, Gavin’s upper middle grade series is a deliciously readable adventure story with mystery at its core. Set in Morania, an eastern European country, Great Escape, the first book in the series, trails the two-year-old (in dog years but fourteen-year-old in human years) Cocker Spaniel Ingo’s journey from a farm to becoming an integral part of his master Lani’s family. As Ingo gets adopted and forms a close bond with Lani, he realizes he shares Lani’s dream of living in America: after falling in love with Missy, an American Cocker Spaniel on a visit to Morania, Ingo is more than willing to go and live in America. But getting a visa to leave Morania is not easy for Lani, considering the country follows strict migration rules. Blessed with the magic power to understand human speech and family connections in Hollywood, Ingo helps Lani to defect to America and start a new life. The second installment takes readers to the West Side Midtown of New York City. While trying to look for Missy, Ingo and Lani meet Jim, Missy’s owner, and learn Missy along with another American Cocker Spaniel is stolen. It’s up to Ingo and its gang to locate and save the missing dogs. The third installment sees Lani and Ingo moving to Washington DC to live as a family with Jim, his twelve-year-old son Patrick, and their pets. When Ingo becomes the target of poisoning, the incident is just the beginning of a series of perilous situations. Will Ingo’s magical abilities help catch the dangerous spy ring? Gavin skillfully captures Ingo’s perspective and personality; Ingo can’t always convey its feelings, but readers will see the way it makes the most of its situation. Filled with intelligence and determination, Ingo overcomes significant obstacles in order to help its humans. Ingo’s growth from an unsure, young puppy to an exceedingly smart adult dog corresponds with that of Lani’s, who blooms into a mature adult willing to take chances and assert her independence. The narrative alternates between the hilarious human and dog dramas and Ingo’s sleuthing adventures. Besides addressing the subject of trauma and displacement, Gavin underscores the power of resilience, patience, integrity, loyalty, bravery, compassion, and solidarity, revealing the positive sides of tight family and friendship bonds. A dash of magic and romance adds to the intrigue. Cristian G. Stefănescu’s personality-laden, delightful illustrations compliment the story. Set in Morania in east Europe and New York and Washington, DC in the USA, this playful series is full of fun, adventure, and thrills of a cozy mystery. Upper middle grade readers will be greatly rewarded.
Good Boy, Ingo! (3-books series)
By Lani Gavin (Author), Cristian G. Stefănescu (Illustrator)
The Great Escape: Book 1
Price $3.96 (USD) KIndle edition
NEW YORK FINEST K-9 DETECTIVE: Book 2
Spy Hunt: Book 3