I loved this book. What's more, I love the author. If something happened to my wife, I'd call up Judy Cox to see if she's available. (If she's still alive. Which, her website says she is. Perfect.)
What's the source of my affection? Cox's correct use of possessive apostrophes. Many of the teachers at Fran's school have last names that end with the letter S, and all of them have their names made possessive by an additional apostrophe AND S. Every time I read another instance, I stopped and told my kids, "Judy Cox is fantastic!"
In terms of the story, I liked it, too. I liked how Fran is a sympathetic character, and that her bullying is not obvious until you've come to like her. It's better than the typical "good characters are good and bad characters are bad" of children's books. It helps kids see that all people are good and bad.
It was also nice that the parts of Fran's character that needed work were the same as her dog, Hercules. I like parallelisms because they allow you to make your point with less of a heavy hand.
Rating: six and a half out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.