Friday, September 11, 2020

Nubby and Escape From the Twin Towers (Ranger in Time #11)

Andrus, Aubre. Nubby's Story
September 1st 2020 by Scholastic Inc. (paperback)
E ARC provided by Edelweiss 

Based on a true story, we follow founder of W.E.A.R., a nonprofict animal rescue organizaition, Lou Robinson and husband Mark Bowling as they care for a boxer who was born without front legs. From birth, they took Nubby in, fed and cared for him around the clock, battled illness, and found the best way to maximize his potential despite the challenges he faced. With four other dogs in the house, and an animal charity to run, the two managed to help Nubby and also get word out on social media that "different is not disposable". They also faced challenges due to storms, reconfigured their house to better care for Nubby, and generally were tireless in figuring out the best way for Nubby to interact with other dogs, stay mobile, and have the same experiences as able bodied dogs. 
Strengths: Told by Andrus, one of the authors of Fetch, this is an engaging, easy to read story with a positive message about facing challenges. Fans of Miles' Puppy Place books will cheer on Nubby and probably want to be part of Nubby Nation. This was an easy read, perfect for strong readers in second grade through elementary, and also helpful for emerging readers in middle school. 
Weaknesses: This is available in paperback, and currently does not have a prebind edition, which makes it something that would fall apart in three circulations in my library. I have no idea what "The Dodo" is, so I was confused by the cover. Perhaps me students, who actually LIKE spending time online, will know what this is? (Although there is another book in this Dodo series, 50 Odd Couples, by Gabe Polt.)
What I really think: Sylvie, my Yorkiepoo constant companion, has faced hip surgery, blindness for over five years, Addison's disease, and at 14 is now slowly losing the use of her back legs, so I certainly understand modifying things for a pet with challenges. She's not in pain, so I haven't had to make the hardest decision yet. I will buy this if a prebind becomes available.

Messner, Kate. Escape From the Twin Towers (Ranger in Time #11)
February 4th 2020 by Scholastic Press
Copy checked out through the Ohio E Book Project

Risha and her friend Scott are thrilled to go to work with Risha's mother when they have a school project, especially since she works high up in one of the Twin Towers. When her mother goes to another floor to deliver a muffin to a friend, a plane hits the tower that they are in. The children are trapped under some furniture, but that's when Ranger appears from the current day with his magical, time transporting first aid kit. He alerts workers who are fleeing, and they rescue the children and take them out of the building. Scott suffers from asthma, and the smoke is hard on him, so going down many flights of stairs is hard. Ranger stays with them all the way and makes sure they get out safely. Someone lets Risha borrow a phone to call her mother, but it goes directly to voice mail. After the second plane hits, the area is evacuated, and Risha is concerned that she has told her mother to meet her at a coffee shop nearby. Contact is made with Scott's father, and they arrange to meet him. While they are fairly safe, Ranger goes to work locating people, and his training serves him well. Will he be able to find Risha's mother, or will she be one of the many fatalities that day?
Strengths: There were lots of good details about what the building looked like after it was hit, how Risha and Scott got out of the building, the chaos on the streets, and even little things, like high heeled shoes being abandoned on the sidewalks. The book is tense, but not overly scary, and everything is okay at the end, which is helpful for my sensitive students who still want to know about this historic event. There's a nice bibliography in the back, as well as some notes about Messner's personal experience on that day. 
Weaknesses: It seemed a little unlikely to me that schools would have let children go to work with parents that early in the year, but it's as good an excuse as any to get children into the Twin Towers. 
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. These books are a bit young for middle school, but I've had a lot of emerging readers really like the series. I may stop at an even dozen, though. 

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