Soldier Dog

Soldier Dog

By Sam Angus

New York:  Feiwel and Friends, 2012.

246 Pages.  Grades 5 and up.soldier-dog-978144722005301


Stanley Ryder loved his mom, his brother and his dogs but growing up during World War I was tough.  His mom died suddenly, his brother goes off to the war and thirteen year old Stanley is left with his very angry and explosive father.  His dad has not handled loss very well and takes his anger out on Stanley and the dogs! Stanley reached the end of his rope when his dad did something unspeakable to one of the mutt puppies.  Stanley decided he could take it no more and he wants to find his brother so he enlists in the army. 

The war has been dragging on and desperate for soldiers they take Stanley. The officers all know Stanley is underage so they keep him under close supervision and when the opportunity arises they move him to the experimental War Dog School.  Here he uses his talent and love of dogs to train the animals to be messengers.  As a historical fiction novel the training of these dogs was crucial to the communication effort in the war.  One hundred thousand dogs were used in WWI and 7,000 of them gave their lives so that soldiers did not die.  This is a very exciting and touching story that will leave the reader wanting to know more about War Dog School.  It has enough war action to keep boys interested throughout the entire book.  I loved Soldier Dog!

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