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Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship
Contributor(s): Kensky, Jessica, Downes, Patrick, Magoon, Scott (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0763696048     ISBN-13: 9780763696047
Publisher: Candlewick Pr
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: April 2018
Annotation: A 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Winner

Based on a real-life partnership, the heartening story of the love and teamwork between a girl and her service dog will illuminate and inspire.

Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a Seeing Eye dog — it’s the family business, after all. When he gets the news that he’s better suited to being a service dog, he’s worried that he’s not up to the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she'd imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time. An endnote from the authors tells more about the training and extraordinary abilities of service dogs, particularly their real-life best friend and black lab, Rescue.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Service dogs; Fiction.
People with disabilities; Fiction.
Human-animal relationships; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Health & Daily Living | Physical Impairments
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Dogs
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Health & Daily Living | Daily Activities
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: bl2018045610
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Non Fiction
Physical Information: 10.00" H x 9.25" W x 0.55" (0.86 lbs) 32 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes are a married couple who were both injured during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Jessica’s service dog, Rescue, joined their family in 2014. Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Scott Magoon has been designing, writing, and illustrating books for young readers since 2003. He lives in Reading, Massachusetts.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
Disappointed Rescue becomes a service dog rather than a seeing eye dog; meanwhile, human Jessica learns her leg has been amputated. Brought together, they form a powerful, caring bond working as a team. Based on a true story, the quiet and stirring text pairs beautifully with the spot art and full-page illustrations, which use color and white space to convey time, meaning, and emotion with great effect. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #2)
Rescue is disappointed to learn that he will not become a Seeing Eye dog. "That was hard for Rescue to hear. Helping people who can't see was the family business." Instead, he is assigned to the service-dog team. Meanwhile, Jessica, lying in a hospital bed, learns one of her legs has been amputated. "That was hard to hear. She had only ever walked on her own two legs." Spot art and full-page illustrations show the progress and challenges that bring their separate journeys together. The two form a powerful bond and work as a team to take care of each other. When Jessica's other leg must also be amputated, "Rescue knew just what to do to help Jessica, all on his own," and the art shows her holding him sleeping in her hospital bed. Together, they "had to start all over again." 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. An authors' note explains that Rescue and Jessica's story is based on a real-life partnership, begun when Jessica Kensky was injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing (her husband and co-author, Patrick Downes, also lost his leg in the bombing). 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. julie roach Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 February #4)

These married authors, who each lost legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and have a service dog named Rescue, affectingly weave fact and fiction in their debut book. Jessica, a fictional child, is a hospital patient recovering from an unspecified injury; "both of her legs were badly hurt," and her left leg was amputated. While she learns to walk with a prosthetic leg (though she's "frustrated and sad about the things she still couldn't do"), a frisky black Lab is being trained as a service dog nearby. Jessica's spirits improve measurably once she adopts Rescue, and, after her right leg is removed in a second surgery, the intuitive, intelligent dog helps Jessica adjust to her new life, emotionally and physically. 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. Ages 5–9. Authors' agent: Clelia Gore, Martin Literary Management. (Apr.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

POPK-Gr 3—The author's true story of her friendship with her service dog. Rescue, a young pup is training to become a service dog, learning to fetch things, to open doors, and even to turn on lights. Jessica is recovering from an injury to both of her legs and is getting acclimated to using prosthetics and walking again. Each is worried about their skills and their futures, but when they are eventually paired, it is an instant connection and realization that they can do so much together. The power of their relationship is made quite clear throughout the book. Kensky, and her coauthor and husband Downes, were both injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and have chosen to leave that particular detail out of the primary narrative. Instead, they focus on the work that Rescue does to aid Jessica every day and the intensity of their relationship. 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. VERDICT 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.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.