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Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship Hardcover – Picture Book, April 3, 2018
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From the Publisher
Based on a real-life partnership
This heartening story of the love and teamwork between a girl and her Service Dog will illuminate and inspire.
Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship
'Rescue brings so much joy and support to our lives. My husband, Patrick, and I wanted to write Rescue’s story to share with children the love we have for our own companion, to celebrate the extraordinary and varied abilities of Service Dogs, and to give insight into what it means to live with a disability. We can show them how dogs can play a special role in helping their disabled owners live full, happy lives.'
From School Library Journal
—The New York Times Book Review
This riveting story about the relationship between a disabled girl and her black lab service dog is based loosely on Kensky’s own experiences as a double amputee...Throughout, the reader is treated to fascinating details on the many tasks service dogs can accomplish and, more important, how Jessica and Rescue saved each other. An inspiring tale of compassion and perseverance.
—Booklist (starred review)
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. 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.
—School Library Journal
Magoon uses dark backgrounds to symbolize Jessica's sadness and fear, but scenes with Rescue are open and bright; with Rescue nearby, even the night after her second amputation is lightened (via lamplight and stars). An authors' note reveals that both are survivors of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and includes information on National Education for Assistance Dog Services, the organization that trained Rescue. A gentle introduction to service dogs and acquired disability.
The quiet and stirring text pairs beautifully with the art, which uses color and white space to convey time, meaning, and emotion with great effect...In the main text, Jessica’s injuries are not explained; the story instead focuses on the power and comfort that comes from her relationship with her service dog.
—The Horn Book
Kensky and Downes streamline their character’s medical ordeal and her process of learning to walk again, highlighting the moments of quiet victory as well as those of despair. Magoon’s (I Have a Balloon) realistic digital illustrations poignantly capture these experiences, offering images of the girl and dog that emphasize the fact that theirs is a mutual rescue. The artist, who like the authors is a Boston resident, provides affectionate, sunlit glimpses of that city—including one featuring a mother duck swimming with her ducklings.
Renewal of a more poignant sort transpires in the affecting pages of “Rescue & Jessica”... Scott Magoon’s colorful digital illustrations are pitch-perfect here: detailed enough to convey a sense of reality, yet softened and stylized in a way that will make the emotional intensity bearable for children ages 5 to 9. Young readers may also be delighted by the tasks that Rescue and dogs like him can perform, from fetching a ringing cellphone and opening the fridge to knowing exactly when his human needs consolation.
—The Wall Street Journal
Based on the real-life story of Rescue and Jessica, this story of courage, adaptation, and a positive attitude to overcoming obstacles is thoroughly inspiring.
—Kendal A. Rautzhan's "Books to Borrow"
- Publisher : Candlewick; Illustrated edition (April 3, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0763696048
- ISBN-13 : 978-0763696047
- Reading age : 5 - 9 years
- Lexile measure : AD550L
- Grade level : Kindergarten - 4
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 9.31 x 0.39 x 10.19 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #33,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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In this case, through the eyes and hard work of Jessica, and the beautiful face and tail-wagging of Rescue, we share in their values of hope, resilience, friendship and love.
As a school that works with children with special needs, "Rescue and Jessica" is a story of all we value and work for at Cotting School. Yet, this story is particularly powerful for typically developing children, who might, for the first time, be introduced to someone with a disability.
From my experience, too often in our society, we see children and adults with disabilities as "the other." Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky's book, coupled with Scott Magoon's powerful illustrations, narrows that space, removing the "us and them" barrier.
Yes, sometimes, the unexpected in life brings us closer together and gives us deeper appreciation for the strengths in others, as well as, the minor and major miracles that happen every day.
Thanks, Jessica, Patrick and Rescue for sharing your personal and powerful special story with us.
Jessica and Rescue form an immediate bond and have a strong symbiotic relationship. Rescue helps Jessica regain the abilities she lost from her disability, and Jessica helps to fulfill Rescue’s role as a service dog.
This book is very highly recommended and appropriate for younger children and has many important themes: a girl can surmount her disabilities, the special relationship and love between girl and dog, the power of resilience and the will (with Rescue’s help in this story) that humans have to prevail over dire circumstances.
The story is based in part on the actual injuries the author Jessica Kensky suffered from the Boston Marathon bombings and her recovery from the resultant double amputation with great assistance from her black Lab service dog named Rescue.
Highly, highly, recommend this book to families! Not just for its diversity and positive message, but because it's such a fantastic book all on its own.
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- anyone who lives in greater Boston (strong)
- anyone who knows anyone in greater Boston
- anyone who runs
- anyone who knows a child that asks good questions
- anyone that wants to take the "Rescue challenge"
(The "Rescue challenge" is trying to get through the book without a tear in your eye or at least a lump in your throat. Good luck with that.)