4 out of 4 stars
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Rusty the Forgotten Fire Engine is a children’s story written by Joe Fisher and illustrated by Jaye Boswell. It tells the story of Rusty, who was once a splendid new fire engine called Reddy. Everyone in the town of Someport-By-The-Sea loved Reddy, who was always at the ready to put out fires.
For many years, Reddy was always at the front of the Fourth of July parade in Someport-By-The Sea. But with time, newer and shinier vehicles were brought into town and Reddy fell further and further back until he was the last vehicle in the parade. His beautiful red paint rusted, and he became an object of ridicule.
The story does have a happy ending and it is appropriate for readers of all ages. Middle-grade students may be able to read the book on their own. It has beautiful illustrations, an engaging plot, and it moves along at a steady but not frenzied pace.
The story has good lessons for readers of all ages. There was absolutely nothing that I disliked about it, although I honestly did cry when Rusty was bullied and pushed aside.
Too often people are very quick to be rid of things that aren’t shiny and new and may require a little repair or a helping hand. This includes other people.
The elderly and disabled are often seen as broken, useless, and “uncool.” Having been viewed this way on more than one occasion myself, I probably empathized with Rusty more than the average adult might. I know what it feels like to be seen as broken and unwanted, a thing that people would just as soon throw away.
I am certain that the book was professionally edited. I found no errors in the text. I was pleased that the author chose to tell the story in a straightforward manner rather than in a rhyming scheme. While rhyming stories have their place, I think that not rhyming benefited this story.
I do not hesitate to give Rusty the Forgotten Fire Engine four out of four stars. While it was written with children in mind, I recommend it to anyone of any age who may have been mistreated because they have a disability or are different in some fashion.
Rusty the Forgotten Fire Engine teaches us that we should learn to repair and repurpose items that can still be useful rather than always hurrying to buy the newest and shiniest thing, and we should always give people a chance to shine in their own style, even if they can’t do things in the way that we think they “should” do them.
Rusty The Forgotten Fire Engine
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