Monday, 30 September 2013

Review: 'Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I' by Alison Hart

Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I, by Alison Hart, Illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery, 2013, Peachtree, $12.95, hardbound, 162 pages. Category/Genre: adventure. Cover: engaging. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

This book is written from the point of view of a dog named Darling, who lives in Cosham, England during World War I. Darling is a mischievous dog, and gets into all sorts of trouble with her friend Rags, the terrier next door. She doesn't care about the war or hard times, or anything except running free. 

But Darling's family can't afford to keep her any more, and one day they give her away to become a war dog, helping the troops. Because the British army can't afford to keep dogs who don't give them anything in return, any dogs who don't do well in training must be put down. All Darling wants to do is escape and run home. 

Things have changed drastically for the fun-loving Darling, and things change even more when her trainer is injured and it's up to her to find help. Soon she becomes a mercy dog: a dog trained to seek out the injured soldiers on the battlefield and bring the medics to them. 

This is a true adventure story, with lots of angst and dramatic action. It's interesting to see history through the eyes of a dog, and to learn how dogs actually served during war time.   

Written for ages seven through ten.  

If you like this one, try: the forthcoming Murphy, Gold Rush Dog.

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