I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{Merlin: Cynthia Lord}Merlin by Cynthia Lord
Series: Shelter Pet Squad
Published by Scholastic Press on September 29, 2015
Genres: Childrens, Middle School, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 128
Format: Hardcover
Source: Scholastic Press
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{Synopsis} – In this charming illustrated chapter book series by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord, the Shelter Pet Squad kids find the perfect homes for animals in need!

A pet is missing!

When Suzannah arrives to volunteer at the shelter, one of the animals is missing! It's Merlin, a mischievous ferret who gets into everything, and loves to play hide and seek.

Owning a ferret can be really hard work, the Shelter Pet Squad discovers. Whoever takes Merlin home will need to be prepared. That's why Suzannah and the other kids make up a test to give to anyone who wants to adopt him. But the ferret is full of surprises . . . and even the Shelter Pet Squad has a lot to learn.

Animal lovers will adore this charming series by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord.

{My thoughts} – Suzannah is back again in this new installment to the Shelter Pet Squad Series. The animal shelter that she and her group of friends volunteer at is having an adoption even at the local mall. Since she is the youngest she is told that she will need her parent there in order for her to attend. That really hurts her feelings because she likes to think of herself as an independent girl despite are age limitations.

Suzannah learned a lot about herself in this book. She learned that it’s okay to ask for help when you don’t understand something. She learned that she may not always like the outcome of situations but in most cases they turn out in the end. She also learned what it’s like to be terrified for an animal even if the animal wasn’t her own.

Merlin is a spunky ferret. If you have ever been around a ferret or owned one will understand the struggle within the pages of this book. A ferret is not a pet to be taken lightly. They require a lot of extra work, a special diet and you more or less need to ferret proof your house. There are so many things and places a ferret can get into that aren’t considered safe for them and they need to be able to roam outside of their cage safely for exercise.

Suzannah makes it her goal to help Merlin find the perfect forever home while at the adoption event. However, the one promising person she found didn’t appear ready to have another ferret. Merlin got to go back to the shelter and wait for his turn to be adopted. Does Merlin get adopted? What happens that makes Suzannah scared for him? You’ll have to read to find out.

I recommend this book for any child that loves animals, wants a pet ferret, or is interested in helping out at the local animal shelter. This series is an amazing series and it is spot on with the things that can occur at an animal shelter. I wish our local SPCA had a shelter pet squad. I would enroll my children because it would help them to learn all sorts of things. I also like that at the end of the book the crafts that are made in the book for the pets are explained so that children can make them at home for their own pets.

Final Conclusion: 5 Star Rating.