Monday, January 24, 2011

A Wonderful Story About A Dog and His Author

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Sandra J. Gerencher, a special education teacher in the Bangor Area public school system. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked at Lehigh University in a school-based program, as a Program Specialist for adults with disabilities. Over the past 20 years she has worked with children and adults with special needs in such areas as counseling, Behavior Specialist Consultation, behavioral research, crisis intervention and abuse therapy. Sandra graduated from Lehigh University with a M.Ed. in Special Education (2004) and from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia with an M.S. in Counseling Psychology (1999).

Ms. Gerencher has written the award winning book, Second Chance.

PBS Kids Recommended title

Watch the video.

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Read an excerpt:


Visit the book's Web site:

Book web site:

I had the opportunity to read Second Chance. Here is my review:

Animal shelters are filled with dogs and cats and other creatures waiting for someone to love them, for someone to give them a forever home. With each visitor to the shelter, their hopes rise that this person will be their new mommy or daddy. Their hopes die when they aren’t chosen.

Author Sandra J. Gerencher has written a story about Chance, a four-month-old Rottweller, German Shepherd mix, that lives in a pen at the shelter with his buddy, Ruffles. One day a lady and little boy are looking at the animals, and when she hugs and kisses Chance he knows he has “the lady eating out of my paw.” The lady adopts Chance and soon he’s living in his new home with the little boy and three other dogs, who he later discovers are all adopted, except for one dog. From the beginning Chance and the boy have a special connection. Chance can talk to the boy, who talks back to him. The author's book Second Chance, gives a lovely picture of the special relationship between a special boy and his dog.

Telling the story from Chance’s viewpoint allows the reader to see how a dog might view his world and the people who inhabit it. We witness humor and wonder as Chance adjusts to his family. Many of the words he hears confuse Chance. What does adoption mean? What is autism? In his new home, Chance has rules to follow, as do his new brothers and sister, as well as the boy Ryan. The author cleverly weaves information about autism into this touching story about being different. This would make a good supplemental reader for school classes to help students understand that some children and adults are different, but that this difference makes each of them unique. Once you read this book, you'll want to run to the nearest shelter and take all the precious animals there home with you.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 28 pages

Publisher: Tribute Books (April 14, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0981461921

ISBN-13: 978-0981461922

You can learn more about Ms. Gerencher and Chance at the following sites:

Sandra J. Gerencher Facebook:
Tribute Books website:
Tribute Books Facebook:

Tribute Books Twitter:

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Ooooh, I love a good dog story! This one sounds amazing!

  2. Beverly - thanks for sharing the humor and the heart of SECOND CHANCE with the wonderful readers of The Story of a Writer. Your review is excellent - I love the quote you pulled "eating out of my paw" and how you explained how the story is told through Chance's eyes.

    I agree for animal lovers out there - the book will make you want to run to the nearest animal shelter to adopt a new furry friend!

    Darby - if you get a chance to pick up a copy, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Best wishes,
    Tribute Books

  3. Dog stories are some of my favorites, too, Darby. If I could, I'd adopt them all.

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  5. It was my pleasure to review Second Chance, Nicole. People need to be aware of these precious animals, as well as the precious children who are a bit "different" but so wonderful if you get to know them.

  6. Wonderful post, Beverly. It's a great book!

  7. This looks like a fantastic read! Yay for awesome dog stories! Thanks for highlighting this wonderful book!

  8. Thanks, Susanne. It is a beautiful story about love.

  9. You're welcome, Terry. There's nothing better than a good story about dogs (and/or cats.) I'll be reading yours soon. It's on my 2011 challenge list.

  10. Second Chance sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for the great review, Beverly.

  11. I love animals, Ruthi, and love to read about them. Love happy endings too. :)