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The McNifficents


About The Book

A senior Miniature Schnauzer employed as a very distinguished nanny has his paws full trying to prove he’s still the dog for the job in this sweet and “chaotically entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews) middle grade novel that’s The Secret Life of Pets meets The Vanderbeekers series.

Every day, Lord Tennyson the Miniature Schnauzer does his very best to care for the six McNiff children and keep them from destroying their pink New England farmhouse—and the rest of the town for that matter. But when summer vacation brings the kids home together all day, his chaos-containing skills are put to the ultimate test.

Baby Sweetums is still refusing to walk, nap, or listen to anyone; Ezra is trying to keep a snake as a secret pet; Annie and Mary’s fighting is worse than ever; and Pearl and Tate are scared of just about everything. And when a particularly tempting troop of baby chicks arrives at the house, even Lord Tennyson finds he can’t stay on his best behavior.

As the chaos begin to spiral out of hand, though, something truly awful happens: Mr. and Mrs. McNiff seem to be considering getting “a real nanny” to care for their big brood! Can Lord Tennyson get the McNiffs’ hijinks under control and teach them to behave before the summer’s out? Or will this most unusual nanny find himself out of a job and back in the doghouse?

About The Author

Photograph by Brynne Makechnie

Amy Makechnie is an author of books for young people of all ages. Her novels include The Unforgettable Guinevere St. ClairTen Thousand Tries, and The McNifficents. Stay in touch with Amy by subscribing to her newsletter at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 20, 2023)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665919005
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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Raves and Reviews

"A lively role-reversing family story...Makechnie invites readers into a sometimes frenetic household that’s frequently suffused with love and laughs. Humor abounds in quirky details—avian creatures named after Downton Abbey characters, Tenny’s formal inner dialogue and love of the film Mary Poppins—while the siblings’ bickering, teasing, and supportive interactions ring true."

– Publisher's Weekly, April 24, 2023

"The writing is strong, and Lord Tennyson has an arch, competent manner in keeping with his professional role model, Mary Poppins....Chaotically entertaining."

– Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2023

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More books from this author: Amy Makechnie