Frankie and Amelia by Cammie McGovern

After being separated from his family, Franklin becomes an independent cat, until he meets a goofy dog named Chester. Chester is a service dog to his person, a boy named Gus, and Chester knows just the girl to be Franklin's person--Gus's classmate, Amelia.

Amelia loves cats, but has a harder time with people. Franklin understands her, though, and sees how much they have in common. When Amelia gets into some trouble at school, Franklin wants to help the girl who's done so much to help him. He's not sure how, yet, but he's determined to try.

Frankie, our narrator, is left behind one day by his family. He becomes lost and has to learn to fend for himself. On the way, he makes friends with his enemy and is guided by life on the street by a raccoon named Rocky. He eventually meets a service dog named Chester and his family. At first, Frankie is apprehensive of this new home and the dopey dog that is always looking out for his person Gus, an autistic child. But along the way, he finds comfort in this new family just before he is forced to leave.

In comes Amelia, a child that is having a tough time at school. Who is anxious all the time and whose parent's are getting divorced. When she and Frankie meet it seems like a perfect match. However, Amelia is having a more difficult time at school and expressing her emotions with words than initially thought. It's up to Frankie to find a way to help his human find her inner voice.

Frankie and Amelia is a companion book to Chester and Gus. There is no need to read the first book. Their story is perfect as a standalone. I personally loved reading through a cat's perspective. Frankie has had some struggles in his journey to meet Amelia. I enjoyed the comparisons and how both pet and owner made a good match. Amelia loves cats and talks nonstop about them which doesn't make her too popular with her old friends. She tries so hard to be someone she is not that it's not difficult to feel for her. I was surprised to read at one point that Amelia hadn't taken a shower in a week. I know this story focused on her anxiousness and autism but I could see depression being portrayed by her character. I hope this book would help children see what others go through and to choose to be kind. 

Frankie and Amelia was a very heartwarming story. I didn't love that there were more fantastical elements that came true at the end of the story. I didn't find it necessary or realistic. Overall though I loved the perspective of Frankie, her friendship with Chester, and I felt like I came away with learning something new about children with autism. 


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