Ryan is a young boy with autism who spent his life shunted from foster home to foster home. People don’t understand why he won’t look them in the eye. They don’t understand why he makes odd flapping motions with his arms and chews on his sleeve.
Chance is a shelter dog, a mixed breed whom nobody wants because he’s part Rottweiler and part German Sheppard. The people at the shelter say he’s ‘mouthy.’
The future doesn’t look especially bright for either of them until ‘Mom’ comes along and adopts both of them, giving them a chance for a happy, secure life.
I wanted to review this book because of my own grandson who has autism and because my heart bleeds for neglected, homeless animals. All of our animals are throwaways. (Three cats and a dog which is part German Sheppard like Chance.) I thought the book was well done as it shows how even those in need of a second chance can thrive in an atmosphere of love and permanency. It also shows the symbiotic relationship between a boy and his dog. The book won a PBS Recommended Title award.
Author Sandra Gerencher is well qualified to write the story because she’s telling the story of her own family. Sandra adopted both Ryan (whose real name is Terry) and Chance. The photos in the book are those of Sandra’s real life family. I especially liked the dedication of the book which reads:
I dedicate this book to my son Terry
The light of my life and my second chance.
And to anyone who has ever adopted a child or a shelter dog
and the ones who made my dream come true.
God bless you all.