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Ben and Blue: Searching for Lucky #3002

Ben and Blue: Searching for Lucky #3002

By: Ellen Melissa Cohen
Illustrated by: Donald Wu
Publisher: Red Chair Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 1, 2024
ISBN: 978-1643713731
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: February 12, 2024

Ben and Blue: Searching for Lucky #3002 is, in this reviewer’s opinion, a fabulous story for younger children that covers the very grown-up topic of donor-conceived birth in a great way...through the eyes of a 10-year-old. Plus, as a great bonus, readers also get another fun mystery in this book with the addition of a dog-napper who is trying to hurt others and make tons of money at the same time.

Ben and Blue is the story of Benjamin Zither and his new dog, a basset hound named Blue. Ben has a great life…a wonderful mom and grandparents, a great best friend named Cooper, and now a wonderful new dog who they saved from the shelter. This seems like it should be perfect, right? It is until his teacher gives the class a new assignment. The project is called “My Family,” and everyone in the class is expected to do a report on all members of their family and how they are special. Unfortunately for Ben, this is a project that he really wants no part of because, unlike his classmates, Ben has no dad. To Ben, that just means that he is different from everyone else, and he is not eager to stand up in front of the class and their families and tell people that. So what does a 10-year-old do in this case...he makes it into a big mystery and decides it is time to find out about his father. As Ben, Cooper, and Blue start investigating, they turn up more than they expected when secrets start to come out. Ben is about to face a lot of very surprising answers to his questions.

In addition, it turns out that Blue is being stalked by someone, and no one knows why. His previous owner, an old woman who had to give him up, starts showing up a lot when Ben is with Blue, and the dog’s reaction is not what Ben really expected to see. Then Blue disappears, and Ben and Cooper find that they have yet another mystery on their hands besides the identity of Ben’s dad. Will Ben find Blue? Will he ever find out who his father is? Will Ben’s mom ever tell him the truth about whatever happened in the past? All of these questions will be answered, but you are going to have to read the book for those answers.

Ben and Blue is a wonderful story that is full of family, secrets, and plenty of surprises along the way. It is wonderfully written and full of mystery and fun. You will laugh out loud at some of the antics these kids and dog get up to as they try to unravel the clues they find. The characters are well-developed and very likable and will seem real to the reader. In addition, the author takes a very private and mature situation and explains it with humor and sensitivity to a young audience, which makes this book a real treat. It is so true...families today are sometimes very different, but that does not make any of them wrong.

Quill says: Ben and Blue: Searching for Lucky #3002 is a wonderful and creative way of presenting information to a child on a topic which is one they would not normally understand. Combining the very adult topic of donor-conceived birth with a fun mystery for youngsters (actually two of them) and a great character like Blue was a stroke of genius on the part of this author.

For more information on Ben and Blue: Searching for Lucky #3002, please visit the author's

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