The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter

Little, Brown. Apr. 2020. 224p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781368051835.
Gr 3-6–Sixth-grader Rex Dexter desperately wants a dog, but his parents have deemed him too irresponsible. When he loses an old-fashioned Grim Reaper carnival game, he is cursed with the ability to see and communicate with dead animals who passed away with unfinished business. The first one he sees is his own pet chicken, which died moments before in a steamroller accident while Rex wasn’t paying attention. Soon after, he starts seeing the ghosts of animals from a local zoo, all of whom died under strange circumstances. Rex must solve the mystery of who is killing off rare animals so that the victims can move on to the afterlife. And if he does, maybe he can convince his parents that he is responsible enough to own a dog, too. Hapless Rex follows in the footsteps of characters like Timmy Failure, who think they are much cleverer than they actually are. His hijinks will amuse those who enjoy slapstick humor just a little on the dark side. The mystery has a twist ending that will surprise and satisfy readers who thought they knew what was coming.
VERDICT Purchase where funny books are popular–that’s everywhere, right?

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