Scholastic. Mar. 2021. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781338541885.
Gr 4-6–When we first meet Buster, he is being tried in Dog Court for the crime of revealing his true intelligence to humans. As a service dog for Tonino, a young boy with an anxiety disorder, Buster couldn’t help but use his full skills to support his person. Huett’s clever premise, smooth worldbuilding, and quick pacing will engage young readers. Most notable, though, is his thoughtful depiction of anxiety, which will help kids understand themselves or their peers who may struggle with intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, or other mental health challenges. Tonino grows over the course of the book as he begins to understand that he can implement strategies to feel better but will likely never be “cured.”
VERDICT A fun caper for dog lovers with a more serious depiction of anxiety disorder woven in. Strongly recommended as a first purchase.

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