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Author: Scott Shields and Nancy M. West

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Publisher: Hero Dog Publications,

Material: paperback

Summary: For years, Bear, a Golden Retriever, and his owner, Captain Scott Shields, served their community as emergency service volunteers. On September 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center was attacked, Bear and Captain Shields immediately rushed to the scene. This story honors Bear and reveals the courage, dedication, and the contribution of canine and citizen volunteers. This is a non-fictional story focused on the aftermath of 9/11.

Type of Reading: family reading, independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 9 to 12

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a good story. Dog lovers will swoon. Kids will go bonkers over the pictures of the golden retriever.

Pros: This book will be of interest to dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike.It is the story of an especially gifted dog but it is also about the talent, dedication, and commitment of the many citizens who willingly risk their lives serving their communities in emergency situations.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. For children or adults interested in dogs, this is a buy. Bear is truly a special animal and his exploits will impress and amaze the reader. Witnessing the level of competency and the impact that emergency service volunteers played in the rescue process is heart-warming and awe inspiring.


Educational Themes: The story reveals the complexity of dealing with chaotic situations and the role and contribution that volunteers and emergency service personnel can play in reducing fear and panic of the victims with expertise and empathy.

Notes: Publisher note: Bear never located or rescued any "live" victims. Also, he was not an officially trained search dog and thus he and his handler had to leave the Ground Zero recovery efforts on the third day.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - US history, history, animals, biography, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed:

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