Chester and Gus

Chester and Gus

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
207   0
Write Review
Chester and Gus
Age Range
8+
Release Date
April 04, 2017
ISBN
9780062330680
Buy This Book
      
Chester has always wanted to become a service dog. When he fails his certification test, though, it seems like that dream will never come true—until a family adopts him. They want him to be a companion for their ten-year-old son, Gus, who has autism. But Gus acts so differently than anyone Chester has ever met. He never wants to pet Chester, and sometimes he doesn’t even want Chester in the room. Chester’s not sure how to help Gus since this isn’t exactly the job he trained for—but he’s determined to figure it out. Because after all, Gus is now his person.

In the spirit of beloved classics like Because of Winn-Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller, Cammie McGovern’s heartfelt novel—told from Chester’s point of view—explores the extraordinary friendship between a child and a dog with a poignant and modern twist.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A  (0)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A

Dedicated therapy dog

Chester is a chocolate lab who is trained as a puppy to be an assistance dog by Penny. When he fails the test because he startles significantly at loud noises, he is offered to a family with a severely autistic son. Penny is not pleased, because Chester is very bright, and she asks Sarah, Gus' stressed out mother, to continue with Chester's training to read flashcards. Sarah agrees, but Gus is not happy with having a dog, and the transition is rough. The school allows the dog in as a therapy dog, but the other teacher in Gus' grade is not pleased. Gus does not speak, and has frequent bathroom accidents, although Chester is able to realize that he is fond of one of the cafeteria ladies, and hopes that he can get Gus to communicate his passions with his parents and teacher. Eventually, the school decides that only certified assistance dogs can be in the school, but when Gus has a seizure, Sarah hopes that Chester can accompany him to school as a seizure dog. Gus is returned briefly to Penny, who doesn't train him for seizure awareness at first, concentrating instead on his ability to read. Eventually, Chester and Gus are able to go to school together and Gus begins to make some progress.

Good Points
Like Rorby's How to Speak Dolphin and Baskin's Anything But Typical, Chester and Gus explores how a character on the autism spectrum fits into his world. Told from the point of view of the dog, we don't see as much of Gus' feelings, but we do see more of the reactions from the people around him. Sarah's frustration and hope are palpable, his teacher's kindness and patience shine through, and we even see Penny's complicated relationship with the dogs she trains. Chester is an exceptionally bright dog, and telling the story through his eyes gives it a fresh appeal to middle grade readers.

Autism is a complicated condition, and is not the same from individual to individual. Gus' seizure disorder makes his medical care even more complicated. Schools have different policies as to how to handle service animals, and I thought that the way the school dealt with Chester was true to life. Since Gus lacked skills in dealing with other students, I can see how a classroom teacher might encourage children to interact with Chester as long as they also included Gus, even though children are usually encouraged to leave service animals alone.

Dog stories like A Dog's Purpose are becoming very popular, and Chester's tale will be popular with readers who enjoy Klimo's Dog Diaries, Pyron's A Dog's Way Home, and Martin's Everything for a Dog.
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

Current Giveaways

 

    

    

   

   

   

   

   

   

    

   

   

 

Latest Book Listings Added

House of Furies
An all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Theshipbeyondtime.jpg
The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Dreamfall
A Nightmare on Elm Street meets Inception in this...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
10 Things I Can See From Here
Think positive. Don’t worry; be happy. Keep calm and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Posted.png
From John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Ms....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kat Richardson isn’t running away from grief; she’s just hiding...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Wonder of Us
Riya and Abby are: Best friends. Complete opposites. Living...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Slope Rules
Fifteen-year old Cally accepted her fate as one of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Alex, Approximately
In this delightfully charming...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
31618483.jpg
A new action-packed adventure series for young fans of Alex...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
“Maybe, just maybe, if I can convince Dad that I’m...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Shae is sure the icy rage that claws at her...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In a future where time travel has been outlawed, a...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Poet of the Wrong Generation
“It’s not that I don’t love you, and my...
 
3.3
 
4.0 (1)