Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern

How I Heard About It:  After reading Just My Luck, I was "lucky" enough to interview Cammie for my "Inside Look" feature on the blog.  It was then such a treat when Cammie sent me an ARC of her upcoming novel.  I had read such positive reviews on Twitter that I was excited to read the book after it arrived in the mail

What It Is About:  Gus is a young boy with Autism.  Chester is a young dog that has failed his "service dog" training.  Chester's trainer isn't sure what is to become of him when she learns of Gus' family.  Gus' parents have tried so many things to help their son fit into a very difficult world.  When they learn about Chester they decide to join their son and a special animal with incredible talents.  Chester is so excited to be brought to this family, but his excitement is quickly diminished when he meets Gus.  The ten-year old boy wants nothing to do with the dog and doesn't "warm" up to him as everyone had hoped.  After several obstacles, Chester is able to join Gus at school.  Some members of the staff are in favor of this partnership and others are not thrilled.  Slowly Gus warms up to Chester but not without some set-backs and hardships.  Chester wants nothing else but to help this young boy, but Gus does not make it easy on him.  The dog will not give up, Gus' parents will not give up; the question is will Gus give up? 

What I Thought Of It:  As much as I loved Just My Luck, I think I enjoyed this upcoming novel even more.  As soon as I began the book, I knew it was going to be a winner.  I'm a sucker for "dog" books, but this one really touched my heart.  Chester is like no other dog and I fell in love with him.  His courage, bravery, and warmth were one of a kind.  I also found that Gus wove his way into my mind, heart, and thoughts.  I'm not sure who I rooted for more; the boy or the dog.  Together they made a team that I won't soon forget.  The writing was excellent, spot-on, and told a beautiful story. 

Who Should Read It:  I can't wait to share this title with my class on April 7, 2017 when the book shares itself with the world.  I think it is the perfect novel for readers in fourth grade.  The chapters are a perfect length, the story moves at a perfect pace, and the two characters are perfect together.  The book would also work for strong readers in third grade while also working with readers in fifth and/or sixth grade.  The story would also be an excellent read aloud for readers in those grades.  Of course adult readers who enjoy middle-grade stories MUST be this title on their TBR list.  You will LOVE it!  Happy Reading...

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

1 comment:

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