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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Pax is a yellow Lab; Jasmine is a Montserratian cat who really thinks she’s a princess; Gertie is a Montserrat agouti who speaks Montserrat Creole dialect. And, of course, there’s Mom and Dad. They’re the human members of the family, the ones who walk on only two legs. Gertie is a rather special agouti. You see, agoutis are not usually very sociable creatures and few are seen in their natural habitat. But Gertie, having two useless front legs, was abandoned by her family and that’s where Jasmine comes in. Jasmine, the cat, rescued Gertie, brought her home, made Mom scream because she thought it was an over-sized rat, and insisted that Gertie stay with the family. And, with lots of special love and attention, Gertie became a very valuable family member. The family accepted her just as she was, dysfunctional front leg handicap and all.
This is a true story. Dwain Lovett and Marcia Mitchell are the authors, but they are also the Mom and Dad of this family which consisted of a dog, a cat, and a handicapped agouti. Their story, Rescued: The Amazing Story of Gertie Agouti, is perhaps more likely Gertie’s story as told by Pax, Jasmine, and, of course, Gertie, with a few photographs, which the two human members of the family must have supplied. Told with humor and from the points of view of the three four-legged creatures, the most important members of the family, this story is both compassionate and inspirational, displaying the importance of unconditional love and how it affects everyone. For Gertie, this unconditional love saved her life. “We didn’t mind that she was different from us, and she didn’t mind that we were different from her…. Gertie proved she could overcome and accept imperfections in herself.” And doesn’t that just about sum up what life should be about? Accepting all of our differences? A great teaching story and a wonderful memoir full of cherished memories of a unique family. Told with love and compassion.