“Lucky Phoo” is a Doggone Good Tale!

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Lucky Phoo coverLucky Phoo
Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon

Genre: Children’s Mid Grade

Publisher: Imajin Books

Date of Publication: August 1, 2013

Number of pages: 109

Word Count: 43,000

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

imajinbooks.com, amazon.com, luckyphoo.com and www.staciadeutsch.com

Book Description:

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?


I don’t usually read children’s books. I made an exception with “Lucky Phoo” because I’m a sucker for dog stories and I respect the writing accomplishments of authors Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon. I’m glad I did.

What I discovered is “Lucky Phoo” might target the children’s market but it is a well written tale that adults will enjoy, too.

This short novel is an engaging story in a contemporary setting . . . three young girls who aspire to be filmmakers . . . and the stray dog who adds a bit of frenzy to their lives. The characters and dialogue are realistic but not so juvenile as to be offsetting to an older reader. What I really found refreshing (besides Phoo’s crazy antics) was the serious issues that weave throughout the story without dampening the fun. They unfold in such a way as to offer positive guidance and good lessons for today’s youth.

“Lucky Phoo” will draw you in and hold your interest. I highly recommend it for mid-grade children and adults, alike. And who knows . . . it may even convince you to foster a homeless dog! 🙂

What other reviewers have to say:

“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


Mrs. Salinas was ready to go. “So if you girls are sure you can’t take him any longer, I’ll just head on over to the van―” She took a few steps forward then turned back to the girls. “You’re sure you can’t foster him any longer?”

“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!”


About the Authors:

Rhody Cohon wishes she could adopt a million pets! Until her house is big enough she’ll pamper the few she has and help others find the perfect home.

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.pic 4

Website: www.staciadeutsch.com, www.rhodycohon.com

Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/staciadeutsch

Twitter: @staciadeutsch

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staciadeutsch  or www.facebook.com/luckyphoo to post your own pet photos and videos

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sfdeutsch/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/staciadeutsch

AuthorCentral: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMB0UE