This easy to read chapter book, intended for third graders, would be very appealing to this age group. Although some of the situations sometimes seem unlikely, the characters are realistic, and Gordie has problems that readers will probably find familiar. Gordie feels that he has no talent and doesn’t know what he will do for the class talent show. He is worried about being embarrassed by the presence of his older brother. He is teased by a classmate who is a combination and caricature of the worst classmates a third grader could have. Worst of all, when a new student arrives, his best friend seems to pay all of his attention to the new boy, neglecting Gordie. Gordie’s only hope is his dog, Scratch. Readers will identify with and be rooting for Gordie as he deals with his problems. As Gordie learns the lessons of friendship and loyalty, so will readers. This book would be a great way to ease into longer chapter books. The plot is simple and easy to follow. Characters and their problems are memorable, but not complex.