A must for animal lovers, this story gives the reader an intimate (up-close) view of Marty's love for the dog, and does an excellent job of describing the characters and the setting. The book is set in the South, and the characters' dialogue is written with that accent in mind, which at times gets a wee bit confusing for some young readers. In all, this is a very enjoyable book, whether you are a fan of adorable beagles or not. It's a solid book for the average fourth grade reader, but is fine for both older and younger folks. This book kicks off a series of three, all of which are just as good as the first.