by Sam Angus
Feiwel And Friends, 2012
Thirteen-year-old Stanley’s life is turned upside down when his mother passes and his father, so deep in his grief, is unavailable for his youngest son. His brother, who does support him, is fighting in France in the Great War. When the family’s prized greyhound gets loose and returns pregnant,
Stanley keeps the runt after his father tries to kill it. It survives and becomes his best, and only, friend. Eventually his father removes the pup. Thinking his father drowned him, Stanley runs away and enlists in the Army, lying about his age. Officers know Tom is young and encourage him to work with messenger dogs. Finally sent to France, more officers protect him as they can, until one day, they have no choice, but to put his dog into action.
Written for kids, this compelling story of an English boy growing up in a war zone in 1918 is intense and moves swiftly and deeply into a reader’s heart.
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A Horse Called Hero
Feiwel and Friends, 2013
Wonderful story about a boy and his horse, set in the turmoil of World War II in England.
Eight-year old Wolfie and his older sister Dodo live in London with a caretaker while their father is serving in the military. As bombing escalates, children are evacuated and sent to live with families in the country. They are stuck with a caretaker that doesn’t want them. Wolfie discovers an abandoned newborn colt. Neighbors say it won’t survive and decide to kill it, but Boy claims it as his. His medal-winning father returns to England, but he has been charged with desertion and remains in jail. The locals want nothing to do with kids of a deserter; they are returned, but their teacher takes them in.
The horse is magnificent and keeps the family focused during numerous hardships including thievery, floods, and mining battles, all of which they have no control. For five years, the father and children write each other regularly. While not a true story, it includes real events that occurred during World War II and keeps readers engaged with several life-and-death situations.
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