Book Reviews

Blog Tour: All Pets Allowed (Blackberry Farm #2) by Adele Griffin and LeUyen Pham

Released: August 2021
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 192
Rating: 4.5/5

New dog, no tricks!

From the publisher:

Becket Branch has one birthday wish—a dog! Dogs are outgoing and friendly, and they live life loud, just like Becket. Becket’s twin, Nicholas, wants a pet more like him—a peaceful, quiet indoor cat. When their parents take them to the shelter to choose a dog and a cat, it should be Becket’s biggest BEAUTIFUL ALERT ever. But Becket’s dream dog, Dibs, turns out to be a super-shy scaredy-pooch. Meanwhile, Nicholas’s kitty, Given, loves being the center of attention and greeting visitors to Blackberry Farm.

Can Becket and Nicholas learn how to love Dibs and Given as they are—even if they aren’t exactly the pets the twins dreamed of?
With black-and-white drawings throughout by award-winning illustrator LeUyen Pham (Real Friends), this second volume of the Blackberry Farm series offers a gentle message about embracing new friends who may not match preconceived expectations.

A welcome addition to the engaging Blackberry Farm series.”



“A sparkling story of weathering change.”

Booklist, starred review

“Becket is an outgoing, refreshingly self-confident protagonist…Readers will appreciate her ability to bounce back from whatever life hands her. Pham’s sketch drawings scattered throughout enhance the energy and humor of the story. Give this to kids who enjoy stories with plucky female protagonists.”

School Library Journal

“Warm and amusing as Becket and her two siblings navigate their new life on a farm.”

Kirkus Reviews

“An enjoyable novel for young readers beginning to explore the world on their own terms.”
Horn Book Magazine

“Becket’s narration vibrates with energy and cheer…Pham’s black and white illustrations…have just the right amount of comic flair to match the vibrant humor of Becket’s story.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Perfect…This fun and colorful novel will surely make you happy and brighten up your day.”


What a delightful book! I’ve been reading a lot more middle grade books the past year and books like this are what have made the venture worthwhile. I suffered a loss last year and struggled to get back into reading until I started reading books aimed at younger readers. It’s amazing how authors can write books for younger readers that incorporate such important emotions and feelings in a way that is accessible and enjoyable to read. 

In the first book of the Blackberry Farm series, we met Rebecca “Becket” Branch and her family as they ditch city living to open a vet practice on a farm. Life goals much? In this installment, we’re back on the farm and Becket and her brother Nicholas are given permission to get their very own pet! Becket gets the dog she’s dreamed of having and Nicholas gets the cat he’s always wanted, although their lovable furry friends are a lot more than what they’d bargaiend for. There are a lot of laughs and love as the kids learn what it means to be a responsible pet owner.

I’m a sucker for anything animal related, but this book goes above and beyond by teaching its readers that having a pet is more than just a fluffy friend to take Insta worthy pictures with. All Pets Allowed explains through a fantastic story and wonderful illustrations that caring for a pet takes time, patience, and commitment, but that in the end it is worth it. This is an important lesson now more than ever because so many people got pets during the pandemic, only to realize that they were more work than they thought- especially when the world started going back to normal.

I would have absolutely loved this book as a kid! As an adult, though, I thoroughly adored it. I can’t recommend this enough for parents, kids, and everyone else in between. If you want a fun story with a lot of heart, or a story to teach your kids about pet ownership, All Pets Allowed is an enjoyable choice. Thank you so much to the publisher and the author for giving me a chance to read this book in exchange for a review. I can’t wait to read more in this series!

About the Author Adele Griffin:

Adele Griffin is the acclaimed author of Tell Me No Lies and Be True to Me, as well as Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, both finalists for the National Book Award as well as the middle grade series The Oodlethunks and Blackberry Farm. She lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her online at or on Twitter: @adelegriffin.

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