Finished Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern. I received a copy for review.
Chester was in training to be a service dog but he failed (he’s afraid of loud noises). Even so, he’s given a second chance as a therapy dog for Gus, a young boy with autism. Chester immediately loves Gus but it’s more of a process for Gus. Slowly they start to communicate and even more slowly, they forge a sort of friendship.
This book is adorable. It’s a perfect book for middlegrade readers, because it shows a more serious case of autism but doesn’t make Gus seem freakish in any way. We see glimpses of his personality, even as he’s essentially imprisoned in his mind. He’s mostly non-verbal so he can’t explain anything. Chester understands but obviously he can’t help people figure it out, either.