by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon
Genre: Children’s Mid Grade
Publisher: Imajin Books
Date of Publication: August 1, 2013
Cover Artist: Ryan Doan
Seventh grade best friends, Caylie Jiang-Kahn, Lauren Blindell, and Sabrina Robinson have busy middle school lives.
Sabrina wants to make a movie about their friendship, but a stray dog shows up and ruins the day. In frustration, Lauren curses, “Oh Phooey.” The name sticks. The crazy mutt will forever be named Phoo.
Sabrina pieces together bits of the footage she shot. She highlights Phoo’s silly antics and puts the video up on a movie contest website.
The video goes viral and suddenly, Lauren, Caylie, and Sabrina are celebrities at school. When a volunteer at the dog shelter sees the film, she assumes the dog belongs to the girls and calls them to come collect Phoo.
The girls arrange to take turns caring for Phoo until he can be adopted.
While sharing Phoo, Caylie, Sabrina and Lauren begin to notice that if the dog is around, lucky things seem to happen. The moment he’s gone…the luck disappears.
When they all need the dog’s magic at the same time, it’s up to the girls to decide once and for all: Is Phoo truly a lucky dog?
Review blurbs for LUCKY PHOO
“With punchy dialogue and a fast moving pace, LUCKY PHOO takes readers on a wild adventure as three friends try to share fostering duties of a lovable stray dog.” —Marianne Mitchell, author of FIREBUG
“Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon are two very best friends who write books together, which is very lucky for their readers. You’ll want to share LUCKY PHOO with all your friends, too!” —Jennifer J. Stewart, author of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD WORLD KIND, Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award List; Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award List; Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award List
"LUCKY PHOO is a great story about friendship, love and responsibility--Phoo, the lucky dog who wanders into Sabrina's, Caylie's and Lauren's world is indeed lucky--although maybe not as lucky as these girls whose life he changes." —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL
"Okay, full disclosure: I LOVE good, strong, dog stories--Lucky Phoo is precisely one of those!" —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL
“I can’t,” Sabrina said, her voice tight and sad.
“Not me,” Lauren confirmed.
“I might be able to squeeze out another weekend,” Caylie said, “but we’d be back here on Monday.”
“Right,” Mrs. Salinas said. “And at least this way he has a chance of getting adopted in Fresno.”
She took a few more steps towards the van. The rain, to Lauren, seemed to be coming down harder. The drops blended in with her tears now. And looking at Caylie and Sabrina, Lauren couldn’t tell, but was pretty sure they were crying, too.
Mrs. Salina’s stopped one more time, just at the edge of the parking lot. “It was great having him,” she said. “Wasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Lauren agreed. “Great.”
“We had fun,” Caylie said.
“Fun,” Sabrina repeated the word. “Yeah. We had a good time.”
Mrs. Salinas nodded. “I thought so.” She looked down at the dog, then back at the girls. “Tell me,” she said, her voice soft, drippy like the rain. “Weren’t things better when Phoo was around?”
The remark caught Lauren off-guard. What was Mrs. Salinas talking about?
“I think she’s right,” Lauren said, turning to Caylie and Sabrina. “Things have been going better than usual for me lately.”
“You don’t think he might have some kind of powers?” Sabrina looked over at Mrs. Salinas who was now at the van, loading Phoo inside.
“Well,” Caylie said, considering.
“I think maybe,” Lauren said tentatively. “I saw this show about luck and how―” Lauren stopped herself mid-sentence when she saw Mrs. Salinas push Phoo into an empty carrying cage. His voice joined the choir of barking dogs and was the loudest of them all.
In a sudden move, the girls rushed forward to stop the truck, shouting together, “Mrs. Salinas! Wait!”
with Stacia Deutsch
My new book, LUCKY PHOO, is about three girls who adopt a dog that they think might be bringing them luck. That’s the kind of power I’d love. I’d like to be able to grant wishes, like a genie. But in the end, I wouldn’t really want anyone to know it’s me. Just sneak around, behind the scenes, granting wishes. That would be really amazing.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There is nothing as amazing as seeing your book in a store. Just this month, I found the Smurfs2 Movie Novelization that I wrote at the grocery store. It was hard to hold back and not shout it to all the shoppers and clerks. E-publishing is interesting. You are going to see me lurking at the beach and by the pool over kids’ shoulders to see what they are reading! Lucky Phoo is my first eBook. I am excited about how easy it will be for kids to download it and read it. I hope kids will tell me when they read it so I can get all excited that way. Email me Stacia@staciadeutsch.com!
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Rhody and I have worked together on a lot of projects. I usually write, while she edits and helps with plotting. This is a book we wanted to write. This is the story we wanted to tell. With Rhody, and alone, if you count them all, I have written about seventy books for kids. Most of the books I work on are ideas that come from a publishing house to me. This one, Rhody and I created – no publisher’s imput from the start. Each of the girls are made of girls we know. They have interests of girls we know. We hope that they are girls you would want to know as well.
I also wanted to experiment with screenwriting storytelling process. I went to a Hollywood seminar about creating movie stories and revised the first draft Hollywood style. I hope that comes through in the book. It should read like a move in your head. Fingers crossed…it worked. Let me know if you can see the story unfold like a movie! I want to hear…
If all that doesn’t convince you, the book is being offered for only 99 cents the month of August. I hope that price will encourage kids to give Phoo a chance. www.luckyphoo.com.
That’s an easy question. French Fries. No doubt. I comb the universe looking for the perfect fry. So far, I keep coming back to McDonalds. I don’t want to know how they make them so good. Let that be a secret they keep. I’d rather not know. They are perfect. If anyone has a fry place that beats McDonalds, let me know. If I am travelling, or if it’s a chain, I will check it out.
What book are you reading now?
This is going to sound a bit sad, at least it’s sad to me, but when I am in the middle of writing something, I tend not to read. At least not anything similar. I never want to be accused of having an idea leak from something I read into something I wrote. Usually, if I am writing kids stories, I read adult memoir. I love stories about people’s lives. I just started “Orange is the New Black” and have a long list to come after that one.
What’s your favorite season/weather?
I love fall. I love the colors of the changing leaves and the smell of rain. I moved to California from Ohio. I will never miss the cold winter, but the fall, I get a little sad each October.
What was your favorite children's book?
I’m a time travel junkie. I love,love, A Wrinkle in Time. It inspired the first project Rhody and I worked together on – a chapter book series called Blast to the Past that is being re-released this September. That book is about kids who time travel. It wasn’t a big leap to Lucky Phoo – a story about a magic dog. I love thinking about “What if.”
Beach or Pool?
Beach. But I don’t really like sand. I know…It doesn’t make sense, but I love the ocean. Love the sound of the waves. And hate sand in my house and car. My kids will tell you, I make them dust off every last grain before they come inside.
What is one book everyone should read?
There is no one book for all. I wrote mystery, adventure, time travel and magical fantasy, but if someone asked me to write – or read – horror – I’d start to cry. I don’t want to stay up all night scared. That’s why books are so amazing. There’s something for everyone.
For writers, however, I will say this – if you want to write – try Story, by Robert McKee. Its my writing Bible.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I just finished a Masters of Arts Degree in Creative Writing. My thesis project was a mid grade novel about two girls – one is a mermaid, the other human. When they accidentally discover each other, and realize they are sisters, they decide to use a bit of magic to let them swap places. It’s very much like the Parent Trap meets Prince and the Pauper. The book is at publishing houses now. Maybe there will be good news soon. I plan to write it into a screenplay as well – so we will see how that goes. I’ll let you know!
About the New York Times Best Selling Authors:
Find Rhody at www.rhodycohon.com.
Stacia Deutsch sits at the keyboard crafting stories all day and then, plays with her own crazy, lucky, dog at night. She and her three kids live in Southern California. You can visit Stacia at www.staciadeutsch.com or on twitter at @staciadeutsch.
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