In interactive language only Second Chance and Ryan understand, the young boy tries his best to explain that "adopt" means becoming part of a loving family for the rest of his life. “There’s something different about this boy," the dog notes, "but I sense that he is friendly and that he likes me.” During this explanation, Chance sees Ryan jumping up and down, sometimes flapping his hands in the air, sometimes chewing on the sleeve of his clothing.
What will become of these two friends? The rest of the story is short but to the point. From the wisdom of a dog, I came away with a new understanding of what it means to be adopted and what it means to accept someone who is noticeably different.
I would recommend this book as an imaginative read for any age, but particularly grade school students. It could be a great leaping off point for discussions about children labeled as autistic, and also about adoption and what it means.
Children can be encouraged to tell what they think each not-so-perfectly-clear water color is all about. Who is to say that Chance and Ryan view their worlds with this somewhat blurred outlook? Most critical is having a child understand that Ryan and Chance accepted one another unconditionally. Is that not what love is all about?