Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog (PBS Kids recommended title)

Pittman & Davis

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3 comments on “Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog (PBS Kids recommended title)

  1. Amanda Richards
    8 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Dog’s eye view, May 22, 2008
    By 
    Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) –
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    A puppy
    Gets lucky
    And finds a place to call home

    A child
    Who’s special
    And finds a friend of his own

    Adopted
    Autistic
    Yet forming a special bond

    Finding
    A love
    That goes above and beyond

    It’s a dog’s life for Chance, a Rottweiler/German Shepherd puppy sharing a pen at an animal shelter with his pal Ruffles. One day, a lady picks him out and gives him a new home, where he meets his new “pack”, including three fluffy Pomeranians and a little boy who seems to be slightly different.

    Told from the canine point of view, this very short children’s book provides a new way of introducing the concepts of adoption and autism, and the positive effects of a stable, compassionate and loving home.

    Based on the author’s real life experiences, misty watercolor images of her little family fill each page of this easy-to-read magazine-sized book (11 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches). As a bonus for pet lovers everywhere, a portion of sales go towards the Humane Society.

    Amanda Richards, May 22, 2008

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  2. Charles Ashbacher
    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    An adoption story told from the unusual perspective of the adopted pet, May 17, 2008
    By 
    Charles Ashbacher (Marion, Iowa United States) –
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    Chance is an orphan dog that is living in a shelter. While he has companionship in the form of fellow dogs and love from the employees, it is a fleeting thing until the lady and her autistic son Ryan adopt him. At first Chance is frightened because that means he has to get in “one of those big things that go fast on the street.” However, once he gets to his new home, he meets the three other dogs owned by the lady and Ryan.
    While these dogs are standoffish, they tolerate Chance as he acclimates himself to his new home. However, Chance often hears the words “adopt” and “autism” and he is puzzled as to their meaning. Finally he learns what they mean and his knowledge of “adoption” makes him very happy. He now knows that he has a permanent home and that he can sleep on the bed with the lady. Ryan also gets benefits because he and Chance can understand each other. With his condition, Ryan has a difficult time understanding and being understood by others.
    Narrated by Chance, this book is one that will be loved by all pet owners, as the different perspective is one that most would not consider. As a lifelong owner of dogs and cats who has taken in strays, I have had the pleasure of their company and understand how much they can enrich your life.

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  3. 44 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Wise, Sensitive, Completely Charming Book for Adults and Children, May 31, 2008
    By 
    Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) –
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    Sandra J. Gerencher addresses many issues in her well-written, entertaining, informative book SECOND CHANCE. Not only is this a tale that deserves wide attention among proponents of animal shelters and readers seeking a degree of understanding of autism, it also stands alone as a beautifully illustrated (by Virginia Cody) book for informing children about the concept of adoption. For this reader this book is one of the finest explanations for sharing the meaning of adoption with youngsters – a definite assist to parents who adopt and are searching for the best way to discuss the topic with their family.

    But Gerencher goes further than the usual author of books for children by engaging the reader using a dog’s view of the process. The warmly human ‘lady’ of the story goes to the animal shelter, adopts a German Shepherd/Rottweiler pup that is seemingly unwanted, and takes the pup ‘Chance’ home – adopting (a strange word to the narrator Chance) yet another animal for her houseful of Pomeranians. The manner in which Chance interacts with his new ‘brothers’ as well as his bonding with the lady’s adopted autistic son Ryan offers the crux of the story, a story that explains the nurturing and care and sense of family that occurs with the concept of the term ‘adoption’.

    In Gerencher’s gently elegant style of writing the story avoids being maudlin and instead focuses on the wisdom of both animals and humans in exploring, understanding and integrating Adoption as a means of illustrating an extended family, or in other words a `second chance’ at life. And by electing to set the typeface of the narration superimposed on the beautifully realized watercolor-like manipulated photography of each of the dogs and the boy, this book becomes an art piece as well. As with other authors who offer subtitles to their books, Gerencher opens her fountain of knowledge and experience in her addressed fields by adding the subtitle ‘How Adoption Saved A Boy With Autism and His Shelter Dog’. This book is a fine achievement in literature, in children’s books, and in teaching resources for every reader, no matter the age. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, May 08

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