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The Beloved Dearly
The Beloved Dearly
Author: Doug Cooney
Ernie is a twelve-year-old tycoon, always on the lookout for a fast buck. This time he stumbles onto a money-making bonanza: pet funerals. He hires Dusty to decorate the burial boxes and Tony to dig the holes, but his prize find is Swimming Pool, a tomboy who can cry on cue. Business goes through the roof -- until Ernie loses Swimming Pool over...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780689863547
ISBN-10: 0689863543
Publication Date: 8/1/2003
Pages: 192
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 10 ratings
Publisher: Aladdin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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reviewed The Beloved Dearly on + 14 more book reviews
Ernie is a twelve-year-old tycoon and this time he is making money by doing pet funerals. FUNNY, kids love it!
reviewed The Beloved Dearly on + 105 more book reviews
When Ernie Castellano is busted at school for one of his get-rich-quick schemes hawking cheeseburgers on mystery meat day he's grounded. The discovery of an empty lot proves irresistible to the young entrepreneur, however, and soon he's sneaking behind his father's back to start a pet funeral business. With the help of a handful of employees, including a scruffy nine-year-old artist who makes the caskets, and Swimming Pool, a professional mourner who can cry on demand, business is soon booming. But Ernie grows increasingly dictatorial and estranged from his new friends, and not until the death of his own dog does he learn there's more to value in life than cold hard cash. Cooney's background as a playwright is evident in the tight arc of the story and in the snappy dialogue. Some of the zaniness has an edge of forced hilarity, and some characters are cliched including the fast-talking Ernie ("Tell Mom and Dad you're going to a movie, you need the popcorn, score the ten bucks, and give little Frisky the send-off he deserves"). But the themes are credibly developed and the ending in particular has emotional resonance. This is a likable story with solid appeal. Ages 8-12.