FICTION

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

KENSKY, Jessica & . illus. by Scott Magoon. 32p. photos. Candlewick. Apr. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763696047.
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POPK-Gr 3—The author's true story of her friendship with her service dog. Rescue, a young pup is training to become a service dog, learning to fetch things, to open doors, and even to turn on lights. Jessica is recovering from an injury to both of her legs and is getting acclimated to using prosthetics and walking again. Each is worried about their skills and their futures, but when they are eventually paired, it is an instant connection and realization that they can do so much together. The power of their relationship is made quite clear throughout the book. Kensky, and her coauthor and husband Downes, were both injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and have chosen to leave that particular detail out of the primary narrative. Instead, they focus on the work that Rescue does to aid Jessica every day and the intensity of their relationship. Magoon's digital illustrations are a lovely accompaniment to the text, providing rich detail to the spare story, and the scenes of Jessica and Rescue playing and working with the Boston skyline as a backdrop only add to the poignancy.
VERDICT This is a strong selection for any collection, and stories about working dogs never get old; this will be appreciated and enjoyed by a wide variety of young people.

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