Sunday 12 September 2021

Harley the Hero

Finished September 6
Harley the Hero by Peggy Collins

This picture book is based on a real service dog who assists a teacher. The children in the class in the story are taught to understand the role of service dogs and how to behave around them. Because they can't interact with Harley, their teacher's service dog while he is on duty, they write letters to him. Told from the point of view of one of the children in the class this story shows how he feels about Harley and his teacher Mrs. Pritchard, how one of his classmates Amelia interacts with Harley, and how Harley understands Amelia in ways that her classmates don't always. 
Harley has an Animail mailbox to receive the letters and gifts (including) that the children have for him. 
Their class is one of the quieter ones in the school due to Harley's presence. 
The story deals in particular with one day when some curtains caught fire and the children had to react to the danger. Even though the children have practiced what to do in an emergency, when the real thing happens, they aren't as organized as they expected. There is noise and smoke and it is distracting and scary. Harley stays focused though and he protects all the students, as well as Mrs. Pritchard. Harley is the hero of the day.
I liked the way the kids learned here, and how they reacted in realistic ways to a difficult situation. This is a good introduction to some things that are important to know about service dogs as well.

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