A German shepherd—the first dog trained at Dorothy Eustis's famous Seeing Eye guide-dog school for the blind—looks back at her life. Chosen for her intelligence, obedience, and willingness to learn, Kiss knows there is more to life than chasing balls and chewing bones. She is a Noble Creature and Great Things await her. But after spending months learing to take care of her beloved trainer Jack, why does he suddenly want her to take care of Morris—a strange, clumsy man who wants to wants to change her name to Buddy? Could it be that Morris needs Kiss to take care of him even more than Jack did? Based on a true story, and featuring realistic black-and-white illustrations by Tim Jessell (plus an appendix with information about German shepherds, the history and training of guide dogs, hosting guide-dog puppies, and much more), this canine confessional is pitch-perfect for smart, dog-crazy, early middle-grade readers!
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Talking Down to Kids About Blindness
If working dog guides could talk, they would not resort to the dumbed down discourse dreamed up by pitying authors. They might talk about ground breaking access and heroic acts of sacrifice and self effacement that gave a blind person, and, after that first one, many blind people, access that our writer of children's stories takes totally for granted.
The dogs might suggest getting to know real working dog guides, the ones that lead productive, valuable lives, the ones that guide thousands of blind men and women around the streets, office buildings, shopping centers, universities, and neighborhoods of this country without the first in long of cutesy commentary or patronizing verbal patter.
Bottom line: know your history, then research your material, know your subject and do justice to it.