Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Second Chance blog tour stops at Flying Off the Shelves, Faith on a High Wire & Cake Mom

Flying Off the Shelves
January 19, 2011

Second Chance
by Beth

Second Chance
By: Sandra J. Gerencher [Facebook]
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Tribute Books (2008) [Facebook]
ISBN: 978-0981461922 (0981461921)
Genre: Children, Education, Adoption, Autism
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
To Buy from Tribute Books and Amazon

Summary via Tribute Books
The timeless tale of a boy (with autism) and his (shelter) dog. Over the past 10 years, author Sandra Gerencher has been on a mission to save dogs from high-kill animal shelters. Her first rescue was P.J., the black and white Pomeranian in the story. She also adopted the orange Pomeranians Shelby and Lil Rascal, and of course, Chance, the big black Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix. All characters in the story are based on Sandra's real life family. The book is filled with softly blended watercolor photos of her loved ones. Her most significant adoption was her son, Terry. He was considered a special needs child because he was born with a genetic disorder known as Fragile X Syndrome. The disorder can cause many cognitive disorders, such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation and depression.

Review
This book allows for a through understanding of not only adoption for children and animals but talks about special needs children in the system. As I mentioned earlier in my review of Red In The Flower Bed I have next to no background on the subject of adoption but I am also in the dark about autism. This book definitely shed light on both subjects in a completely different way than the previous book in that it goes more into detail in words instead of with pictures. The pictures themselves are pretty and add to the story but are not necessary to the story like in Red In The Flower Bed which is good for older kids.

The way the author uses the dog's story to explain what constant shifting in early childhood is like, is amazing. As Chance showed, going to your new family to get answers to the many questions one has brings you closer together and helps you learn new things about one another. I think that is a great message for anyone entering a new home with a new family.

Second Chance is a great book for a child learning to live with a new autistic family member or if they are an adopted child themselves. This book is equally good for children with new pets and how to explain what shelters are and how to acclimate to having a pet. Due to the clear and curious way of storytelling I am pleased to give this book a four. You can learn more about this book, and the author and her family above by following the links above. Happy Reading!

Sandra J. Gerencher Biography via Tribute Books:
Sandra J. Gerencher is a special education teacher in the Bangor Area public school system. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked at Lehigh University in a school-based program, as a Program Specialist for adults with disabilities. Over the past 20 years she has worked with children and adults with special needs in such areas as counseling, Behavior Specialist Consultation, behavioral research, crisis intervention and abuse therapy. Sandra graduated from Lehigh University with a M.Ed. in Special Education (2004) and from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia with an M.S. in Counseling Psychology (1999).


PBS Kids Recommended Title Award



***

Faith on a High Wire
January 19, 2011

Second Chance - A Review for Tribute Books

by Kathy Vestermark

I was looking forward to reading this little book: Second Chance by, Sandra J Gerencher. Because I have a child with significant special needs (some autistic like tendencies), I was intrigued by the premise of the book -- both a child with autism and a dog being saved by adoption. I am a huge fan of adoption; I believe that more people should explore the option to adopt, especially children with special needs. But, I didn't quite see the similarities between adopting a child with special needs and a puppy.

So, I began to read the book. Immediately, I was concerned. Knowing it was a book meant for children, I tried to swallow hard and work my way through Chance, the adopted dog, narrating the story. I just have a problem with issues as important as those raised in this book being reasoned through by a dog, considering dog's can't reason. (Reminder to self: Children's book, remember children's book...)

I also had a moment of pause when the author suggested that her adopted son, Ryan, a child with autism can speak DOG. The child was actually able to carry out a conversation with the pooch. Now, I don't have a child with autism, but I also don't believe children with autism are akin to Dr. Doolittle. I am not sure that this is an appropriate image to present to any child reading this book. It was a stretch and a bit too contrived, again, for the importance of the message the author was trying to present.

I did appreciate the attempt to appeal to children and teach them about topics such as special needs, adoption and caring for animals that are destined for euthanasia. It was a well written book, obviously by a mother who loves her child and her pets. Unfortunately, this book just didn't do it for me.

***

Cake Mom
January 19, 2011

Second Chance eBook Review and Giveaway (3 winners)
by Jamie Zewe

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved Boy with Autism and his Shelter Dog by is written from the perspective of the dog, Chance. The author does a very good job of describing the experiences and thoughts of the canine and how he acclimates to his new home and new family. The dog is adopted from a shelter for the family’s autistic son. Chance can recognize that there is something special about the little boy and also struggles with the word “adoption”, frequently spoken by the mother. The dog’s interpretation of the world around him is fascinating and comical at times. The autistic boy, Ryan, is uniquely able to communicate with Chance and the rest of the animals in the household. The autistic child shares his own experience of adoption with the dog. The dog processes what a wonderful experience adoption and stability is for him and how he is now part of a family
The dialogue from the boy to the dog is more articulate than what is realistic of a child with true Autism, but it does not distract from the theme of the story which is the beauty of adoption. The book, which is really a short story, is a quick read and can be read by adults or to children. The story is positive and uplifting and would be great for any family who is adopting a new animal or who has an adopted child.
Buy it now: You can purchase the paperback version of this book for $12.95 from Amazon.


To win go to: http://jamielz.blogspot.com/2011/01/second-chance-ebook-review-and-giveaway.html

Three (3) lucky Cake Mom readers are going to win the eBook version of Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog.


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