January 24, 2011
Mary's Book Basket - "Second Chance" by Sandra J. Gerencher
by Mary Lenaburg
I was honored when Tribute Books approached me to review the children's book Second Chance:How Adoption Saved A Boy with Autism and His Shelter Dog by Sandra J. Garencher. This is a touching story about an autistic boy named Ryan, his shelter dog Chance and the loving adoptive mother that brings them together.
This tale is told from the point of view of Chance, the adopted shelter dog. I thought that was a wonderful little twist by the author which allows her to really explore what adoption is and how wonderful it feels to be part of a family from the adoptee's point of view.
I chuckled a time or two over some of Chance's interactions with his "brothers and sisters" the three other dogs in the home. They were too funny.
When Ryan "speaks" to Chance and explains what adoption really means your heart just sings. It's beautifully written and I highly recommend it.
January 25, 2011
Children's Book: Second Chance by Sandra J. Gerencher
by CF Mathews
“The lady looked at me, took my head in her hands and said, ‘Well Chance, today’s your day for a second one.’ A second what? Was I getting a new bone, a second bowl of food? What?…Was I going for a walk? Was this the second one the lady was talking about? Maybe she didn’t know I hadn’t had a first walk.” Humorous and creatively told from an adoptive dog’s point of view, Second Chance by Sandra J. Gerencher, is a book any child will enjoy. It follows the introduction of a shelter dog, “Chance,” into his new family. In this family, there are already three Pomeranians, some of whom are adopted and an autistic boy named Ryan, who is also adopted. The story is based on the author’s real-life family.
Second Chance parallels the adoptions of Ryan and Chance. The difficulty of being moved around from home to home and the joy of finally being given a permanent home are experiences they both share. Ryan helps Chance by loving him and Chance helps Ryan to come out of the isolated shell of autism. Chance observes, “It’s funny that he is able to look me in the eye. He doesn’t make eye contact when others talk to him.” Second Chance firmly encourages adoption and shows how it can work with a lot of love and patience. Chance sweetly muses, “Adopted can’t be a bad thing because they all seem happy…adoption means to be loved forever.”
Illustrated softly with watercolors, the paintings take center stage while the text occupies a relatively small part of the page. This makes for a unique and contemporary presentation.
Sandra J. Gerencher has been working in special education and special needs care for about 20 years. For the past 10 years, she has taken an interest in adopting dogs from “high kill” animal shelters. A portion of the proceeds from this book benefits the Humane Society. The book has been awarded the “PBS Kids Recommended Title.” Second Chance has a myspace page and Tribute Books has a page where you can purchase it.
Tribute Books is a publishing company, started by Nicole Langan, an entrepreneur from Pennsylvania. They accept new manuscripts-instructions are on the website. Topics and types of books include: children’s books, history, historical fiction, humor, photo books, poetry, reference, relationships, religion and sports. Tribute Books also provides opportunities for fundraising.