June 30, 2010
Review and Giveaway: Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog eBook
Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy With Autism and His Shelter Dog
Written by: Sandra L. Gerencher
Release Date: 2008
Pages: 28 pp
Synopsis (as taken from the Tribute Books website)
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.
About the Author (as taken from the Tribute Books website)
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).
My initial thought was that this story is A LOT longer than the other eBooks I have shared with Raileigh... or traditional print books for that matter. There are only 24 pages, but there are fewer pictures and more text on each page. I began to wonder if Raileigh would be able to sit through the entire story.
So, I decided to break it up into chunks that would be more manageable for her. I chose to share the book with Raileigh over a course of three days. Each time we sat down to read the story, I would show her the book cover and kind of paraphrase what we had already read. Each day, we looked at all of the pictures in the book, even if those pages were not part of our reading material for the day. Raileigh's absolute favorite animal is a dog, so showing her the pictures was a way to get her excited about the story.
Speaking of illustrations, let me tell you about the ones in this book. They are amazing. Definitely more like artwork than book illustrations! The pictures are actually photographs of the author's family members that have been digitally enhanced using a watercolor effect.
The story is told from the point of view of a dog. I wasn't sure if Raileigh would understand this, or be able to follow everything in the story. So, on a few lines I chose to paraphrase or add something explanatory. I also added questions to Raileigh to help keep her attention and tie the story into her life. For example, there is a lot of vivid imagery in the story. To help Raileigh give meaning to the words I was reading, I would ask her to find similar things in our own home.
The story of Chance and his boy, as well as the other dogs in the household, was very heartwarming. As Raileigh grows older and will surely make friends who are adopted, this story will be a fantastic way to help her understand just what that means. It is definitely written on a level that a child can understand. As an adult, I enjoyed this story as well. It is always great to see a family be happy together and work as one unit, which is exactly how the family in this story operates.
Would you like to share this wonderful story with your children? I am pleased to tell you that Tribute Books has agreed to send one lucky reader a copy of the eBook just like we received!
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Giveaway is open to worldwide residents. Giveaway will close July 15, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST.