Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
Ill. by Scott Magoon. Candlewick Press, 2017. ISBN 9780763696047
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Themes: Service dogs, Disability. When Jessica is in hospital she is told that she is having a leg removed while still recovering with her other damaged leg. She is unsure of what life holds for her when the doctor recommends she have a service dog. Reading the endpiece we find that Jessica is recovering from her injuries sustained at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and so readers will see that this tale is based on a true story of Jessica meeting and learning to walk with her dog, trained to be at her service. Understandably there is some trepidation on her part, and this book exposes her concerns by paralleling them with those of the dog, Rescue. He wanted to be a Seeing Eye Dog, but when told he would be a Service Dog, was disappointed. But in training and then meeting his partner, the two became firm friends.
This easily read book with copious illustrations details the training that both members of the team receive in preparing them for their life together. Children will love seeing the way the dog is trained, and how Jessica learns to adapt to life with a prosthetic leg. Part way through their orientation, Jessica learns that her other leg is not as healthy as it should be and so is also removed.
This informative book will tug at the heart strings as the dog and Jessica are shown working together. It is amazing what these animals can be trained to do and readers will pore over the information given at the end of the book, and look further to extend their appreciation of man's best friend.