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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sandy is a service dog. Her little girl, Shelby, has epilepsy and Sandy’s job is to watch over Shelby and warn others when Shelby is about to have a seizure. Sandy can sense when a seizure is coming on. And, with her training, she’s a very special type of dog. But there’s a hurricane coming and living in southern Florida is never safe during a hurricane. In the family’s escape efforts, they board a boat and Shelby’s younger brother, Luke, is swept away. Sandy’s the only one who can save him. She jumps into the water and manages to save Luke before he drowns. Only, in her efforts, Sandy is swept away. She is tossed about and finally finds herself in strange territory, alone and scared. When the storm passes, Sandy meets other creatures, including a dog, Max, who helps her find her way home.
Michelle M. Deyarmin’s early chapter book story, Sandy the Service Dog: Lost in a Hurricane (The Adventures of Sandy the Service Dog), is a compassionate story that will appeal to all young readers. The story introduces the strong bond between a service dog and the one he or she cares for. It also addresses issues like bullying and fear and risking all to help others. The story is told in the first person, from Sandy’s point of view. There is lots of dialogue to help carry this story along and the simple sketches provide a visual aspect to the story. The characters and setting are well developed and described and the plot is well constructed. A charming story of survival and dedication.