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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  477 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Thirteen-year-old twins Vick and Tara have built an incredible machine--a loyal robotic watchdog named Daisy. But, when local crime boss Ms. Alba schemes to add Daisy to her robot army, Vick and Tara must go to great lengths to protect their prized pet. Because Daisy is more than just any robot--she's their constant protector, and together the three make a great team.

Hardcover, 185 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Delacorte Press
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Sci-Fi & Scary No. There are not a lot of pictures. (Actually, I haven't encountered any in the first half, nor when I flipped through the second half to answer this…moreNo. There are not a lot of pictures. (Actually, I haven't encountered any in the first half, nor when I flipped through the second half to answer this.)(less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  477 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m a big fan of Will McIntosh and I’ve had Watchdog on my radar for quite some time, though it wasn’t until the release of the audiobook version this month that I finally got to check it out. This being a middle grade novel, it was a quick listen, and the fact that it was also packed with tons of kid-friendly action and a featured an adorable robotic watchdog certainly didn’t hurt.

Vick and Tara are our story’s protagonist
The Captain
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys!  This be me eighth novel by Will McIntosh and it was exactly what I wanted - fun!  This story follows twins named Vick and Tara who are homeless and living on the edge.  They are surviving because of their abilities with regards to technology.  Tara is an engineering whiz and Vick is great at scavenging the parts she needs.  But when Tara builds a small watchdog named Daisy, the twins come under the notice of a local crime boss.  Can Tara and Vick keep their freedom?

This wa
Ms. Yingling
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
E Copy provided by the author

In a vaguely dystopian future, Vick and Tara are just some of the abandoned children who scrape out an existence scavenging in a garbage dump and living on the roof of an abandoned apartment building. Tara is on the autism spectrum, so doesn't take the disruption to her life very well, but she is also very talented at fixing technology, and after finding a special computer chip in the dump, constructs a very intelligent robot, Daisy. There are a lot of individuals, a
Sci-Fi & Scary
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm not happy with this, but it's not horrible.

Full review to come later.
Melanie Dulaney
Will McIntosh's "Watchdog" is dystopia, sci fi for the middle grade reader. It is definitely not as dark as Hunger Games, the Testing, Maze Runner, etc., but it clearly has the hallmarks of dystopian with its future society that is definitively divided into the haves and have nots with a cruel ruling faction seeking to control others. The sci-fi aspect comes from the plethora of robots that exist to serve serve humans, whether it be as a household "bot" to do chores, an industrial unit that perf ...more
Christine Fitzgerald
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cool story about robots and family love. I really like how the characters dealt with the autism.
The author is someone I follow, and has yet to have a book that has let me down. And this one is another good one. Watchdog is a fairly dark middle grade semi-post apocalyptic book. Sure there are plot holes but it's a fast read with cool ideas and interesting characters and worth it action. This book is somewhat simplified compared to the others, and the characters are a bit younger. But it doesn't make the mistake of talking down to the reader. But a book where basically all the kids are on th ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fast, exciting, middle-grade read. No deep thoughts here, but I think my reluctant readers will like it. Will be putting it on my next library order.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
Vick and Tara's watchdog Daisy make them feel safe on the streets of a pretty grim future Chicago . . . until she's the reason they are targeted by a local crime boss. ...more
Robert Kent
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Watchdog is a fun book I know you're going to love, Esteemed Reader, so feel free to skip this review and just go get yourself a copy if you like (it will save time). My review is as follows: This book is swell. Here's a blurb for Delacorte Books for Young Readers (feel free to put this on the jacket going forward at no charge):

"This book has robots in it. I like robots. Will McIntosh's name reminds me of a McMuffin. That sounds so good right now. I'm going to go eat one." --Middle Grade Ninja

Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. I really liked this book for middle grade. It was exciting enough for an adult to enjoy, even with the kid elements. The human parts - autism, homelessness, caring for a sibling, food scarcity are all relevant to today’s issues.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nathan-read
My 11 year old read this as part of his AR reading goal this year and he really enjoyed it.
Genta Sebastian
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit
Watchdog, by Will McIntosh - A fun, action-packed, read!

Will McIntosh’s Watchdog is set in the slums of Chicago, where hungry children scramble over heaps of rotting garbage for something to pawn. It serves up an ugly near-futuristic view from the perspective of orphaned thirteen-year-old Vick, saddled too young with the responsibility for his autistic twin sister. Interest in the disorder is at an all-time high, and his struggle to keep Tara safe while dealing with the complexities of her autis
Alexa Hamilton
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm always interested in an imagining of a futuristic Chicago, in this case, one that is covered in trash and has a lot of robotic watchdogs or watch-animals roaming the streets. This is a dystopian place, where children are left to fend for themselves. This book follows Vick and Tara, siblings on the streets after their mother died. Tara is autistic, but high functioning and really good at robots, which definitely helps the plot here. There is a lot of action here, which I appreciated, but I th ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a fun book, and a good first dystopian for kids. But it didn’t blow me away.

The dystopia was really cool and super realistic. Basically, with the advancing robotic technologies everyone’s jobs get taken by robots, rendering an entire class of people unemployed and homeless. In addition, robots being used for “self-protection” get taken way too far, so homeless slums are run largely by gangs using illegal fighting robots to keep them in power. Completely believable, if not inevitable. My
Becky B
Since their mother's death, Vick and Tara have had to survive on the streets. Future Chicago has dissolved into areas of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, with many areas being just turned into piles of rubble. Vick and Tara make their living by scavenging from the junk piles. One day Tara finds a computer chip that transforms her little pet robot dog into a super smart watch dog. The local mob boss really wants to get her hands on that chip and Vick and Tara must run for their lives.

This is a
The plot was pretty standard fair, which is why it’s 3 stars. But as an autistic person, when I read books with autistic characters I like to talk about the accuracy of the representation.

So, Tara is our autistic character, and my biggest issue is that she falls into the specialized super genius trope. She’s a robotics genius, specifically of the titular Watchdogs.

But there’s a lot of good, accurate stuff too.
•Tara has a couple of meltdowns over the course of the book, because she’s dealing w
Laura Gardner
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this science fiction MG book by Will McIntosh. Thanks to the MA youth services blog for this review copy; all opinions are my own.
Vick and Tara, thirteen year old twins, are homeless orphans living in a post-apocalyptic world. Tara is autistic and Vick must help her manage her emotions. They scour the dump for salvageable treasure daily and Tara uses her considerable skills to try to repair electronics to make money. Tara improves their electric watchdog, Daisy, but now
Kelsey Wheeler
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even though I'm twenty-four years old I still love to read  a good Middle Grade book. 
Watchdogs is definitely one of them. I enjoyed this book so much I hope there's more to come to this Watchdog world. Will McIntosh's writing was so enjoyable. He gave all the characters such great personalities and it was so smooth. I couldn't put this book down, and read it in one sitting.

Action packed with heartfelt moments that had you cheering for all the right reasons. Pre-Teens and a little younger will d
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya

I have been enjoying Will McIntosh's writing for a while, ever since I read the book Soft Apocalypse. Lately I've been interested in his foray into teen and now children's writings and so far I have not been disappointed.

Watchdog is the start of what could be a very interesting series set in a futuristic world where stability is scarce and jobs are more and more being handed over to robots, including the two main characters mom, whose job was taken over by a haircutting robot.

I liked the div
Bob Morton
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a review copy. What follows is an honest review.

A few years ago there was a show called Max Headroom. It took place 30 seconds into the future. Anytime I read futuristic stories like these, I think about that 30 seconds into the future.

This book takes place 30 seconds into our future. People have watchdogs, robotic dogs (though some are not dogs) that they can get to do things for them. Vick and Tara, twin brother and sister, are orphaned when their mom dies. They live on the street
Victor Marling
The good:

I loooove that book cover, it's very well made, and is very well drawn. I especially love the mechanical dog looming over the background, and the detail of the characters running from the watch dogs chasing them.

I like how the characters were made, and how interesting they are. Tara is one of the few autistic characters I have seen in kids books, and honestly the first autistic character I seen in kids books so far. Her condition was treated respectfully, and realistically unlike a ton
Caroline Shewmaker
This story lacks context and cohesion. We’re in Chicago, and orphaned twins Vick and Tara are essentially on the streets trying to survive. Robots have started replacing humans in various jobs, and for some reason the police and crime bosses have these terrifying and ruthless robotic watchdogs. Tara is an engineering phenom, apparently due to her autism. (Mind you, Tara’s only real trait one could attribute to her autism is the occasional meltdown, but then again, she only acts this way when put ...more
Andrea Stoeckel
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Receiving books like this from the authors in truth can stress reviewers out a little, but these are my honest opinions not affected by how I received this.

I love YA books, even if I am 61. They mostly expect little out of a reader except to settle in and enjoy the ride. And this dystopian book is no different. Set in Chicago in the possibly not too distant future,these kids are left to fend for themselves. Twins Vick and Tara are kids like this after their mother dies. While scouring through th
Ashley M
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

I love a good middle grade book where the kids are the heroes. This one was good, but fell short of what I was hoping for in a middle grade sci-fi novel.

I did love the pace of the book. It flowed very well, and was quite the page turner at times. I liked that Vick and Tara make such a great team despite everything that happens to them. I also liked how Daisy was written like she was a part of the family. The e
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
McIntosh, Will Watchdog, 182 pages Delacorte (Random), 2017. 182 pages. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (lots of robot fighting action).

Vick and his sister Tara keep their heads low and are barely keeping life together since their father ran away and then their mother died. Tara has autism and Vick can’t always cope with her tantrums, but he tries his best. Tara is brilliant at designing robots, however. When someone big and evil gets a whiff of her genius, the situation goes dow
J. Jefferson
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although this book was well written, I give it four stars because it's not my type of book. However, for those who love action, adventure, and sci-fi genres, you definitely want to check it out. Vick and Tara are 12-year-old orphan twins living in Chicago trying to just survive. They hunt for treasures in the city dump each day in an effort to fix and sell items to buy food to eat. Tara has autism and is extremely talented with technology and engineering. Vick is protective of his sister and has ...more
Morgan Stowe
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Watchdog is a high interest, action packed story of two siblings (Vick and Tara) who find a computer chip that contains cutting edge technology in the middle of a post apocolyptic, war torn society. The former city of Chicago is now a war torn region divided into two vastly different camps: extreme poverty and extravagant wealth. Greedy corporations have all the power, and the diabolical leader of one such organization will stop at nothing to find Vick and Tara and steal the chip away.

This book
Valerie McEnroe
Tara and Vick are twins living on their own since the economy tanked. Their dad left town and their mom died in an accident. Now they spend their days rummaging through the dump looking for spare parts Tara can use to build robots. Even though she has autism, she’s a genius with electronics. Her robotic dog Daisy is her greatest creation and once the local businesswoman gets wind of it, she’ll stop at nothing to get Tara and her dog to help her create a robotic watchdog empire.

As much as I liked
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rimsba, middle-grade
3.5 stars. I read this book in one sitting and I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced novel! The setting is gritty, the characters are well-rounded and believable, and I enjoyed that there was not only autism representation, but an asthmatic kid as well. My only two issues with this book are 1) it felt just a tiny bit too short, however some of my more reluctant readers might enjoy this aspect. 2) I kept wondering how the book might be different if it were from Tara's perspective and not Vick's (o ...more
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Will McIntosh is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction author, as well as a finalist for eleven other awards. His alien invasion novel Defenders was optioned by Warner Brothers for a feature film, while Love Minus Eighty, was named the best SF novel of 2013 by the American Library Association. Coming in 2016 are his first young adult novel, Burning Midnight (Penguin Random House), about a pair of t ...more

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