First there was good news, then bad news, then good news, then more bad news. It seemed like Andi and Bruce and their dogs couldn’t get a break!

Andi couldn’t believe it—she hadn’t won the Young Authors Dog Lovers Contest. She’d worked on her novel for months, about a dog who outwits an evil dognapper, and was sure she’d win. But when she opened the letter, she got two surprises. She’d placed second in the contest—that was good news. But the bad news, the worst possible news, was that Jerry Gordon was the winner. Jerry was the most evil boy she knew, and he didn’t love dogs and hated writing!

Andi was crushed. She just stayed in her room and moped. Her brother Bruce knew he had to do something, so he went to see their Aunt Alice. Maybe she’d have an answer. On the internet, she found a contest for videos about dogs. If Andi could convert her novel into a screenplay, Bruce could shoot it, edit it at school, and enter it in the contest. They didn’t have much time, so they started to work right away. There were some problems, and several scenes had to be cut to make it the right length, but it looked great, and was sent off on time.

A few days later, Bruce got a phone call from Hollywood. He was one of the three finalists, and he and his dog Red were going to Hollywood for the final judging! But then he got another phone call, from Kristy, a girl he’d met in the editing lab, who was making a movie about her dog, and she was a finalist too!

But it wasn’t till Aunt Alice, Andi, Kristy, Bruce and Red had gotten to Hollywood that Bruce got the really bad news. The third finalist was a man named Mr. Merlin, and he’d taught his dog how to talk! Bruce would never win now! But Bruce forgot that this is Hollywood, where movies are made and anything can happen…..

This booktalk was written by Joni Richards Bodart, university professor, author, library consultant, and internationally known booktalker.