Animal Rescue Friends by Gina Loveless and Meika Hashimoto, illustrated by Genevieve Kote

Published by Andrew McMeel Publishing 

Animal Rescue Friends (Volume 1) (Epic!): Loveless, Gina, Hashimoto, Meika,  Kote, Genevieve: 9781524867348: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Maddie’s heartbroken when her mom tells her they can’t keep a stray dog in their apartment.  She decides to take him to Animal Rescue Friends, where she meets a girl her age named Bell and decides to volunteer.  Bell has a little trouble letting go of control, but eventually the two learn to work together and become friends.  A reformed troublemaker named Noah joins the group when he rescues a cat.  Over the course of five stories, the kids work together to take care of all kinds of animals and help them find new homes.  Includes 20+ pages about comics and how to create them. 160 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  If you’re a teacher who worked through the pandemic, you’re probably familiar with Epic!, a website where kids can read books online.  Apparently, they’ve started publishing some of their original works as paper books, including this one, billed as Book 1.  True to the Epic! spirit, it’s a high-interest graphic novel about kids helping animals, so sure to appeal to all kinds of readers.

Cons:  Animal Rescue Friends appears to have one adult working there, with 11-year-old volunteers making up the remainder of the staff; this may not present an accurate picture of how animal shelters actually work.

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