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Gr. 5-8. A veteran nonfiction author as well as a pet owner, Jackson doesn't sidestep the emotional and physical demands of working in an emergency clinic, but her sensitive, behind-the-scenes look at emergency care also clearly shows the rewards of the profession and the bonds between owner and pet. To get the facts, she spent time in a-state-of-the-art facility, talking with vets, vet techs, pet owners, and even grief counsellors, and observing a variety of animal patients--from a ball python, Lucy, that can't be saved, to a foal, Paco, born weak and tiny, that lives. The book's organisation seems a little haphazard: while some chapters focus on particular animals, others are fairly general, and a few insets are sandwiched between the sections (for example, one discussing foods humans eat that can harm an animal). Still, Jackson gives both pets and their caregivers their due, and numerous, excellent photos, including a look at a surgery in progress, make this not only intriguing browsing material but also an honest initiation to a worthwhile career. A list of items for a pet first-aid kit is appended. Stephanie Zvirin
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