Author: Cammie McGovern
Genre: Middle Grade
No. of Pages: 304
Date of Publication: October 26, 2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
A heartfelt companion novel to the critically acclaimed Chester and Gus about inclusivity, autism, friendship, and family, perfect for fans of Sara Pennypacker and Kate DiCamillo.
After being separated from his family, Franklin becomes an independent cat, until he meets a goofy dog named Chester. Chester is a service dog to his person, a boy named Gus, and Chester knows just the girl to be Franklin’s person—Gus’s classmate Amelia.
Amelia loves cats, but has a harder time with people. Franklin understands her, though, and sees how much they have in common. When Amelia gets into some trouble at school, Franklin wants to help the girl who’s done so much to help him. He’s not sure how, yet, but he’s determined to try.
This sweet and moving novel demonstrates how powerful the bond between pets and people can be, while thoughtfully depicting a neurodivergent tween’s experience.
Franklin is a cat that has been through quite a lot. He is trying to find his person. It takes awhile, but eventually that person is Amelia. In fact, his best friend, Chester, a service dog, has found his person in Gus, who becomes Amelia's friend. It doesn't take Franklin long to find a very good rapport with Amelia.
Amelia has trouble communicating, but when it comes to Franklin, she is completely comfortable. Adults don't understand Amelia, but Franklin is different. He understands her, just as Chester understands Gus. Additionally, Amelia's parents have gotten her diagnosed after several visits to her doctor. Amelia is autistic and this diagnosis goes a long way making it clear why she has difficulties both at home and at school.
Franklin proves a godsend. He is perfect for Amelia and shows beyond a shadow of a doubt how pets and humans can bond in the most helpful of ways. This touching story will be with me for years to come. This book is perfect for children who have difficulties communicating, whether they are on the spectrum or not.
Many thanks to HarperCollins and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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