Book Review: Phooey Kerflooey by Kristen Joy Wilks

Posted March 10, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, children, Christian, Kristen Joy Wilks, middle grade / 4 Comments

Phooey Kerflooey book review

Phooey Kerflooey by Kristen Joy WilksPHOOEY KERFLOOEY by Kristen Joy Wilks
GENRE: Middle Grade Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Independently Published
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2024
PAGES: 242

A puppy will fix everything.

A boring new house?
Boring house + puppy = adventure!

An attacking squirrel?
Evil squirrel + puppy = a squirrel-battle extraordinaire!

A daredevil brother who zooms into constant peril?
Rowdy sibling + puppy = calm days snuggling their furry friend!

What could possibly go wrong?

When Marcus’s dog dreams finally come true, something is indeed terribly wrong. Phooey Kerflooey is eighteen pounds larger than expected. She will only eat organic lunch meat and drink from a china teacup. Plus, she is terrified of absolutely everything, including his brother’s wheelchair and that troublesome squirrel.

How can Marcus find “perfect peace,” like in Isaiah 26:3, when God has given him a whole lot of chaos?

Through a raucous tornado of personal growth, the boys and Phooey work together to save the day. But when the dust (and squirrel poo) settles, can they convince Dad and Mom to let them keep their puppy princess?

Isn’t that cover great?!! As I read Phooey Kerflooey by Kristen Joy Wilks, I could imagine all the giggles that would be coming from my eight and six year old nephews if I was reading it to them. (Something that I hope will be reality very soon!) The battle to rid their home of a truly crazed squirrel (amid several other upheaval-bringing life events) gets more chaotic by the minute, and as an adult my stress levels rose at the same pace. Oh the cringe-worthy disaster haha! Plus, I was stressed at how much stress Marcus was taking on himself lol. But to the age group this is written for, the antics of Rasputin (the squirrel) – and Marcus, Conner, and Nia’s attempts to stop him – are pure laugh-out-loud gold. Then, when you add an adorable and easily-terrified Newfie puppy named Princess Foo-Foo Bear (aka Phooey Kerflooey) into the mix, things just get more chaotic (and girly) instead of the guard-dog calming effect Marcus was hoping for.

They’d lived in all-out pandemonium for so long. What would perfect peace even look like?

Tucked in between the hilarity and the catastrophes that will delight middle grade readers (and younger if they’re being read to), there are some very important truths about peace and God and ourselves. “Could peace have been his, all this time, if he’d just turned his eyes away from the chaos and focused on his Master?” That’s something we can all take to heart, no matter our age. The world right now is full of chaos and peace can seem elusive. But if we keep our thoughts fixed on Jesus, He will keep our hearts in perfect peace, regardless of what’s going on around us or in us (Isaiah 26:3). I loved how the author wove this truth so naturally through the story and into Marcus’s heart, and I thought Marcus’s journey toward embracing it as a personal truth to change his life was so meaningful. The difference is almost tangible – in his stress levels and mine lol – when he learns to fix his eyes on Jesus instead of his circumstances… and I absolutely loved how the author shows his change of focus and subsequent peace even when the circumstances haven’t really changed. Another important lesson for readers of all ages to take away from Phooey Kerflooey.

Bottom Line: Phooey Kerflooey showcases a comedy of errors involving a holy terror of a squirrel, an injury-prone daredevil, and an endearing scaredy cat of a dog … and one boy’s impossible quest to correct them all in his own ability & strength. Until an important Bible verse and that same dog teach him a valuable lesson about peace. Author Kristen Joy Wilks knows how to write a story that middle grade readers will find hilarious, entertaining, and meaningful and that parents will love for all those reasons plus the spiritual lessons it teaches and discussions it can prompt. I adored Marcus and Conner and Nia – and Phooey! – and I hope there are more adventures to be had with them in the future. A fun and insightful read for boys and girls and the adults who love them!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

affiliate links used

Kristen Joy Wilks

Kristen Joy Wilks writes from a remote mountain meadow that alternates between quiet and chaos. The mom of three sons, an orange cat, and a giant Newfoundland dog, she lives with her camp director husband at Camas Meadows Bible Camp where she is photographer and camp storyteller. Kristen once climbed a tree and snuck into a church through the balcony to return a library book (and check out another) and has been pursuing stories ever since. Her writing highlights the humor and grace God gives amidst the detritus of life. She can be found tucked under a tattered quilt at 4:00 a.m. writing a wide variety of implausible tales or at

Other Featured Books by Kristen Joy Wilks

What about you? What makes you want to read Phooey Kerflooey by Kristen Joy Wilks with a middle grade reader in your life?

Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Book Review: Phooey Kerflooey by Kristen Joy Wilks

  1. I have three middle grade grandchildren, and there’s nothing better than laughing together as I read a book. (And they take turns). This book sounds absolutely darling!

Leave a Reply