Gr. 5-7. Here's one for every reader weary of being assigned novels in which the dog dies. For expressing his true views of Old Shep, My Pal, eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace earns a detention that takes him off the team and plunks him down in the auditorium, where his almost equally stubborn English teacher is directing a theatrical version of--you guessed it. To the delight of some cast members, but the loud outrage of Drama Club President, Rachel Turner, Wallace Wallace makes a few suggestions to punch up the production; by the end, it's a rock musical and the (stuffed) pooch actually pulls through. At least, that's the plan. Briskly stirring in complications and snappy dialog, Korman adds mystery to the fun with an unknown saboteur, caps the wildly popular play with an explosive (literally) climax, and finishes with Rachel and Wallace Wallace finally realizing that they were made for each other. Except for Old Shep, everyone, even the teacher, comes out a winner.