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Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite
Joseph J. Ridgway’s Ava’s Dream is a story about Ava’s journey in learning about the three branches of the government during her summer vacation. A new park had opened up in their town and Ava was more than excited to step through its large silver gates and explore it. One day, Ava notices her friend, Sofia Jo, outside the park with her dad. Sofia Jo is blind so she is always accompanied by her seeing dog, Sadie. Ava is thrilled to see them and immediately approaches her friend and invites her to play inside the park. Unfortunately, Sofia Jo declines her invitation and her father explains there is a rule in the park that states “NO DOGS ALLOWED IN THE PARK”. Ava feels sad for her friend and wants to help her. She asks advice from her lawyer grandfather who is used to helping people solve their problems with the law. Will Ava and her grandfather be able to help Sofia Jo and other people with service dogs enter and experience the fun that they are missing in the park?
Ava’s Dream by Joseph J. Ridgway is an educational children’s book full of valuable lessons relating to the law. The story shows that with hard work and perseverance, you will get the results you deserve. Ridgway gives us an interesting and simplified interpretation of the three branches of the government, making it easier to understand and remember. It also clearly explains the purpose of these three branches of government. The story is a great representation of the information Ridgway wishes to impart. The characters were sympathetic and kind and taught me many lessons - one is that there are laws written for good reasons but sometimes those reasons aren’t enough to keep certain laws from being unfair to others. It taught me that although laws are made with the benefit of everyone in mind, in the end, it doesn’t always benefit ‘everyone’. Another thing I was impressed with was Ava’s determination to help her friend. Her kind personality and perseverance for someone else’s sake really stood out to me. The ending is truly satisfying after Ava and her grandfather’s long and hard journey. Overall, the story is brilliant and well-written; great work!