Animal Heroes: True Rescue Stories

Animal Heroes: True Rescue Stories

by Sandra Markle

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Mike Hingson and his seeing eye dog, Roselle, made an incredible escape from the North Tower of the World Trade Center. In spite of the smoke, debris, and crush of people, Mike and Roselle walked down the stairs and lead others to safety. They then walked outside for many hours until finding a train to New Jersey and arriving home. Roselle is now retired, but she is still a part of the family. Mike has taken a new job and serves as a goodwill ambassador; he is actually the Director of Public Affairs at Guide Dogs for the Blind. Young readers may remember the headline story about the mother gorilla saving a toddler who fell into the gorilla habitat at a zoo. The gorilla mother picked him up and cradled him in her arms, and, as the gorillas were forced into their enclosure, she left him safely outside. What is it in animal and human mothers that brings out the protective instinct? While there is no real answer, scientists believe hormones influence maternal behavior. In another interesting story, Cow 569 came to the rescue of Kim Reiley who was caught in a flooding river and swept away. The cow allowed her to hang on as it worked its way out of the swollen river. Why would a big cow float? Gas in its stomachs helped keep the big animal from sinking. Kim decided that this cow was not going to become a hamburger. These are just a few of the stories about a variety of animals that have worked with people or saved the lives of humans. During hurricane Katrina, a dog named Frisky saved his master, and on Mt Hood, Velvet helped her master and other hikers survive a snow storm. There are tales of dolphins protecting humans from sharks and serving as life guards and assistants to workers underthe sea—dolphins do not get the bends and can be trained. There is a glossary, source notes, a selected bibliography, a list of phone interviews and books, and an index to round out this interesting text. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

Nine stories, based on interviews with the grateful survivors, describe how brave animals rescued people in catastrophic circumstances. Each edgy retelling reveals details that only the participants could know, including sounds, smells, sights, and the knowledge that at any moment they could die, deepening the tension. Mixed in are Markle's broad and perfectly attuned insights about animal behavior. The text describes the loyalty of a small pooch watching over his elderly owner, licking his face to keep him awake during a night spent in Katrina's flood waters. It also demonstrates the mothering instincts of a western lowland gorilla that tenderly protected a toddler who had fallen into a zoo enclosure. Background information includes a page about the Mountain Locator Unit used in one rescue and descriptions of carbon dioxide poisoning and hypothermia. Many of the photographs were taken from photo archives and fluctuate from fuzzy to clear, yet as such bring even more reality into the mix. All of the tales end with satisfying afterwords that summarize the outcomes.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.40(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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