Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: Second Chance by Sandra J. Gerencher

Book Review: Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog

Author: Sandra J. Gerencher

ISBN: 9780981461922

Pages: 28

Tribute Books- 2008

I had a chance to review Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog. The book was a heartfelt story of how the boy blossomed and the dog found a loving home. It depicts the influences having a pet can have on a child and does so in an honest and loving way.

Here is the synopsis provided by Tribute books:

Second Chance: How Adoption Saved a Boy with Autism & His Shelter Dog

by Sandra J. Gerencher

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.

My opinions:

I think the story would be difficult as a read alone book for those children under the age of 8 but it would be a treasure to read aloud together with your child. Older children will find the story a good read and will long for a dog of their own, but some may miss the deep rooted message the author intended. All in all, a heartwarming honest and loving book about both animals and children who need to find a place called home. It will act as a spring board for discussions with children about adoption, special needs, and making one feel loved. I do recommend the book to include in your library.


  1. Thanks Terri for the review. I agree - the messages in Second Chance come across best when parents and children read the book together.

  2. This sounds like a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!

  3. this sounds like a good book. I taught an autistic boy when I taught preschool. He was a challenge but very sweet!

  4. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed reviewing this book. As a nurse, I find there are never enough books with characters with real life physical or mental challenges to show the reader the positive side of dealing with them.

  5. I read this book, and I loved it. I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

    Terri, have you come across the Andy and Spirit books by Mary Jean Kelso? They are published through my publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing. Andy is wheelchair bound, but that sure doesn't stop him.

  6. My memories of reading to my son, and later sitting with him as he read, are visceral treasures indeed. Wish I would have done more.

    I have long believed that spending time with the children and interacting with them is far better than setting them by themselves to struggle through it.

  7. J. W. Nicklaus, I whole heartedly agree. Spending time with your children is priceless. Thanks for stopping by.



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