Friday, October 19, 2018

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

Teamwork At Its Best

Rescue, a black Lab that is in training to be a Seeing Eye dog, is moved to be trained as a service dog since his trainer thinks that might be a better fit for him. Rescue begins to worry.
"Will I be a good service dog? What will my new partner be like? Will she like me?"
A girl in a hospital has been told that her legs were hurt bad enough that part of her left leg needs to be amputated. She will then use a prosthetic leg or wheelchair. She too begins to worry.
"When will I be able to walk again? What will my life be like?
Though this informative story is extremely sobering, it focuses on the positiveness and comfort that comes from working with a service dog.

 The back of the book has an Authors' Note informing the reader that the story is based on a real-life friendship. Jessica Kensky was injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and became a double amputee. Rather than depicting the "adult" Jessica that this injury happened to, the Jessica in the story is a child. The reason for her loss of limbs is never addressed in the story, only that both of her legs were badly hurt. Her husband is also an amputee due to the same marathon, but he is not part of the story, only the back matter.

 Rescue is a Service Dog that was trained by NEADS. NEADS/World Class Service Dogs is a nonprofit organization located in Princeton Massachusetts.

My Thoughts

What Concerned Me: This is a delicate topic that could worry some children. I'd evaluate that possibility before reading it.

What I Liked Best: Though this is a topic that is never thought of as pleasant, it is handled beautifully and focuses more on the dog and the child rather than the actual amputations. 

Authors: Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
Illustrator: Scott Magoon
Publisher: Candlewick Press (April 2018)
Approx. Word Count: 821
Ages: 5 - 9
Pages: 32

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