New Elementary Grade Novel!
“In this delightful novel, Cammie McGovern has somehow managed to channel, with absolute perfection, the endearing voice of an aspiring service dog named Chester. Joyful, inspiring, and completely winning, Chester and Gus is unforgettable.” – Katherine Applegate, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Critically acclaimed author Cammie McGovern presents a heartwarming and humorous middle grade novel about the remarkable bond that forms between an aspiring service dog and an autistic boy in need of a friend.
Chester has always wanted to become a service dog. When he fails his certification test, though, it seems like that dream will never come true—until a family adopts him. They want him to be a companion for their ten-year-old son, Gus, who has autism. But Gus acts so differently than anyone Chester has ever met. He never wants to pet Chester, and sometimes he doesn’t even want Chester in the room. Chester’s not sure how to help Gus since this isn’t exactly the job he trained for—but he’s determined to figure it out. Because after all, Gus is now his person.
In the spirit of beloved classics like Because of Winn-Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller, Cammie McGovern’s heartfelt novel—told from Chester’s point of view—explores the extraordinary friendship between a child and a dog with a poignant and modern twist.
Coming Out: April 4th 2017
Young Adult Novels
Critical Praise for A Step Towards Falling
- New York Times Book Review : “Universal human emotions and challenges link the characters across boundaries of gender, class, and I.Q. This is a beautiful, big-hearted book with important lessons embedded in compelling stories of two irresistible girls. Expertly executed and movingly realized.”
- ALA Booklist (starred review): “Exhilarating and heartrending.This novel is stunning.”
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review): “McGovern’s triumph is how well she normalizes and highlights the variety of disability experiences among teens and their often circuitous journeys toward claiming their voices and right to self-determination.”
- Publishers Weekly (starred review): “Without evading or sugarcoating difficult topics, McGovern shows that disabled and able aren’t binary states but part of a continuum-a human one.”
For Middle Grade
- Ann M. Martin (author of Rain Reign) : “ I loved this portrait of a young boy struggling to find his role in a family determined not to be defined by their differences. Benny’s brave story, told with wry humor, is inspirational. ”
- Kirkus Reviews : “In narrator Benny, readers find a resilient and very observant 9-year-old who accepts those around him with their strengths and shortcomings alike. His story is insightful and inspirational.”
- Publishers Weekly : “McGovern’s thoughtful depiction of a family facing difficult situations without fracturing, coupled with a gentle message about not being too hard on oneself, will surely speak to middle schoolers with their own slate of worries.”
- School Library Journal : “A heart-filled story of a likable boy who doesn’t realize that his natural gifts are recognizable and valued by a supportive family. There are many moments that will ring true to middle grade readers: feeling anxious about friendships, wanting to be noticed, and trying to do the right thing.”
- The Horn Book : “McGovern’s observations about ordinary-seeming life and about the people around us, about small acts of kindness and healing and forgiveness, are perceptive and thought-provoking.”
- Voice of Youth Advocates : “McGovern writes convincingly about characters trying to figure out how best to live with the complications of a disability, both the person whom it most affects and also those around him or her. Benny’s voice deserves to be read aloud in a classroom.”
Coming Out February 23, 2016