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Jenny Lee Books In Order

Publication Order of Elvis and the Underdogs Books

Elvis and the Underdogs (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anna K Books

Anna K (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Anna K: Away (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jenny Lee is an American children’s author best known as a producer and writer on “Young & Hungry” the ABC sitcom. She is also a producer and writer of Disney Channels’ most popular kids’ program “Shake It Up,” where she has been for all three seasons and “Ground Floor” the TBS sitcom. She has also written “Elvis and the Underdogs” and a set of four humor essay novels. Jenny currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, a 110 pound Newfoundland Doozy that she likes to take on a walk whenever she has the time.

While Jenny Lee has made a name for herself with her “Elvis and the Underdog” series, her biggest ever work is the 2020 published “Anna K: A Love Story. Prior to publishing, the novel was the subject of a bidding war and was finally acquired by Caroline Bleeke and Sarah Barley of Flatiron Books. The novel is also set to be made into a TV series adaptation by HBO Max, which competitively acquired the rights. The novel is a modern-day, multicultural, empowering retelling of Anna Karenina the classic Tolstoy novel. The novel has been described as a combination of “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Gossip Girl” and “13 Reasons Why” that is set between Greenwich and Manhattan. It follows a Korean American girl who has to choose between the guy that she thinks might just be her soul mate and a family approved picture-perfect boyfriend. It also includes her family and her high flying cast of friends. Lee will be the writer and creator of the series having been successful in similar roles for the likes of Shake It Up and Boomerang on BET.

As the producer and writer of several TV shows, Jenny Lee writes her “Elvis and the Underdogs” series in a cute and fun style. Most of her shows were created for children and hence she is highly experienced in writing children’s novels and it shows. She combines cute and fun with corniness which makes for books that are certainly going to be great for parents and children alike. Parents will love the subtle lessons that Jenny throws in for good measure while children will certainly find the stories entertaining. The instance of talking animals works really great for the novels especially once one gets over the corniness at the start. Over the course of the novel, Elvis the talking does become quite hilarious. Another great thing that Jenny does is have diversity in the novels. She has characters drawn from different social and economic demographics which is a great boon. The lead character of Jenny Lee’s Elvis and the Underdogs series is Benji whose voice Jenny captures in a very authentic voice. He fits just right for his description as he is an admirable, brave, cute, brave and lovable child who comes across as very humble. Right from the first page, the author writes in such a way to make the reader’s heart go out to Benji. He had been born premature and spent some time in the hospital but was still a sickly child. After a seizure, his parents get him a service dog which turns his life around as he attracts many friends and for the first time he becomes part of a group that shows him love.

Jenny Lee’s first novel “Elvis and the Underdogs” introduces Benji, a fourth-grader suffering from idiopathic epilepsy. As a child, he had spent nearly a year in the hospital that he had been given a punch card specially made by one of the nurses that took care of him. His father was a rocket scientist and had gifted him with a titanium lug nut that just goes on to show how small things could turn out to be very significant in a person’s life. Benji is bullied in school and after an unexpected seizure, he ends up in the hospital where the doctor recommends he either get a therapy dog or a hideous looking helmet. He decides to get a huge Newfoundland talking dog named Elvis and they are soon the greatest of friends. It turns out that Elvis had been intended for the White House but he loves Benji so much he refuses to leave. While the two friends disagree over a lot of things such as inviting a new student to sit with them for lunch they still remain the best of friends. Benji feels for the new boy as he knows how it feels to be bullied but he also knows that associating with a new Asian student would only invite more bullies. Elvis ignores Benji’s protestations and invites the new kid over and this causes a food fight that ultimately results in Alex the new student making friends with the star athlete of the school named Daisy. Together they take on the bully that has always terrorized them.

Lee’s “Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service” is a heartwarming and hilarious sequel to the first novel of the series. Jenny Lee continues her storytelling of the adventures and times of Benji an adorable boy that she introduced in the debut. The novel is set a few months after Elvis was taken away from Benji by force. Despite his protestations, the Secret Service had taken him away to become the president’s dog for his intelligence. Benji misses him a lot but since he now belongs to the president, there are a lot of videos and pictures of him online. While watching a video in which the president was giving a speech at the White House, Benji and his friends Daisy and Alexander notice that Elvis is wagging his tail in a bizarre fashion. Could he be communicating some kind of message? Could his tail wagging be a coded message asking for help? This begins another chapter of the adventures of Benji and his friends who are determined to travel to Washington to try to help their friend. Their mission also includes unearthing state secrets while evading the watchful eyes of the Secret Service. If they fail in their mission they may never see Elvis again.

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