The Dog Knight

Feiwel & Friends. (The Dog Knight: Bk. 1). May 2023. 224p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781250756725.
Gr 5-8–This first installment in a new series introduces readers to Frankie, a biracial middle school student who has recently come out as nonbinary. With the support of their mother, who presents as Black, Frankie overcomes bullying and the loss of cherished friendships in the wake of coming out. One day, after a series of peculiar events that involves saving their mom from a falling car, Frankie attempts to escape a particularly cruel intimidator and is knocked unconscious in the process. When they awake, they find themself donning the Helm of the Dog Knight—which allows its wearer to understand dogs—before the Pawtheon, a secret team of heroic dogs that protect the human world. Frankie then undergoes a series of trials to prove themself worthy of the title of the Dog Knight, including tests of loyalty, justice, and more. Frankie is an endlessly endearing and relatable character whom readers will root for from the very first panel, and the Justice League-like group of dogs Frankie meets are filled with humor and heart. The paneled artwork is energetic and entertaining, a natural fit for the clever dialogue and themes of self-acceptance, identity, and creation of healthy boundaries and relationships.
VERDICT This action-packed adventure will find a home in many collections.

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