I had a lot of fun reading ASPCA Paw Pals: Chance’s Choice by Brenda Scott Royce. It reminded me of the Animal Ark series and a few other books that I read as a kid myself. This is probably a book that I would have loved when I was younger, though as my reading level at that age was a quite a bit higher and this book probably would have been much better for my sister. Regardless, Chance’s Choice is such an incredibly important book because it discusses disabilities and service dogs, something that I truly wish I’d had more exposure to when I was young and I feel deeply grateful and happy that this is a book that will soon be available to kids of this generation. Chance is a stray dog left outside the animal shelter that Meg’s aunt and uncle own. While Meg has never owned a pet due to her father’s constantly moving job, she desperately wants one. Alongside that, Meg also has epilepsy.
I really appreciated the fact that this book was told from the perspective of a character with epilepsy, not something I have really seen often in novels. It’s important for children dealing with an illness like this to be able to see themselves in characters and for kids who do not have this illness to be able to empathize with those who do. This short children’s chapter book follows Meg as she grows attached to the young border collie she found on the street and then as the idea of Chance becoming her service dog becomes a possibility.
The story is fast paced and quick to read. While I know from my own experience with border collies that the calm nature Chance is described as having is incredibly rare in the breed and therefore surprising and almost unrealistic, that’s really my only issue with this book. I do know that border collies are incredibly intelligent and I can certainly see how one might become a support animal. Overall, I’m incredibly glad that this book exists and I look forward to when it’s published!
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.