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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book
This story is aimed at children over the age of nine, however I think it is a great read for adults as well. It is based in 1917 and is the story of Stanley who enlists in the army when he is 14 years old. It follows him through the war with his messenger dog Bones as they struggle through life in the French Trenches.

I love books that evoke emotions and this...
Published on 16 Aug 2012 by FLB

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read.....
An interesting read. In places, very touching (especially the final few chapters) and was, to a degree, educational to read details about how dogs were used during WWI. However, this is also where I was a little disappointed, in that the story was too much about the war and not so much about the dogs.

Would I read the author again? Yes, there was enough in...
Published on 13 Sep 2012 by Aremess


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book, 16 Aug 2012
By 
FLB (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Paperback)
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This story is aimed at children over the age of nine, however I think it is a great read for adults as well. It is based in 1917 and is the story of Stanley who enlists in the army when he is 14 years old. It follows him through the war with his messenger dog Bones as they struggle through life in the French Trenches.

I love books that evoke emotions and this one had me reading really fast so that I could find out what happened in the end - it made me cry and smile and worry all at the same time. I can not recommend this book enough, seriously it is a superb story for children and grown ups alike.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A boy and his dog, 27 July 2012
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Paperback)
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Stanley is just fourteen in 1917 and when his relationship with his troubled father gets unbearable, he runs away to join the army and find his brother in France. Placed in the nascent dog messenger service, he is sent to the front-line and drawn into a battle which will test his endurance and that of his dogs to the limits.

This is being marketed as a children's book for age 9 upwards but its depiction of war is sophisticated enough to make this a satisfying read for adults too. Angus does a fine job of writing the chaos, terror and confusion of trench warfare, and the incredible courage of men and animals under fire.

This can't help but be a distressing read in lots of places, but it's also better imagined, better written and more deeply emotive than many adult novels. I sobbed through pretty much the whole of the last third of the book so unless you're far harder-hearted than me, it's worth having a box of tissues handy - highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotive & Evocative, 13 Aug 2012
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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A number of children's books have been written about animals employed in The Great War and `Soldier Dog' is equal to any - including `War Horse'. It is fiction that skilfully unites drama and danger, but it is based on fact with dogs really used by both sides to carry messages as author Sam Angus confirms via a note on The Messenger Dog Service stating how some 100,000 dogs served the warring nations and of these 7,000 were killed. `Soldier Dog' tells a gut wrenching story of an under-age boy enlisting into the army as a Keeper to train and handle dogs with appalling consequences as well as hope for the future. There is a family rift, there is friendship, there is fear, there is heartbreak, and there is heroism - but essentially `Soldier Dog' is an emotive story of love, loyalty, courage and bravery. However it is intertwined with an evocatively harrowing portrayal of brutal trench warfare that for young (and older) readers will raise awareness, will be thought provoking, and will be inspirational.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Tale, 3 Aug 2012
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Paperback)
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I have been trying to decide what star rating to give this book. Before even reading this I just thought this is obviously a cash-in on the success of War Horse, and whilst reading this I did notice obvious faults. Being an adult and not a child I do know that you wouldn't see the soldiers all merrily popping their heads above the trenches, and some of the things mentioned in letters in this would surely have been censored out. Obviously as a child these things and other small problems wouldn't be noticed and even as an adult I know I am just being picky and looking for historical verisimilitude.

The story itself is about a boy who runs away from home and his father - due to circumstances shown in the first part of this novel. Joining the army in 1918 and becoming a messenger dog-handler, he is under-age and shouldn't be at the Front. Forgetting about the faults in this tale the story itself is very well written, and you are drawn in. Telling the story of dogs in the First World War is a good thing, as people don't seem to realise what an important part they played, not only were they used for messages as in this story, but they were also important in triage for the Medical Corps.

Children should love this tale, and adults will surely enjoy it as well, but be warned, if your child hasn't got a dog, they may want one after reading this.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of Love, Bravery & Loyalty, 7 Jun 2012
By 
Chris in Hampshire "Mrs C" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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"Soldier Dog" is a children's novel that is based on a true story. It is the story of a boy soldier, set during the dreadful times of World War 1 around 1917. It is a clever piece of fiction that is historically accurate. From the brilliantly poignant front cover picture, inside to the comfortable to read typeface, you will be drawn in from the start and will not be able to put the book down.

This book is aimed at Children / Young Adults, but I believe is one to be enjoyed by any age. I think that the youngest age to read this would be around 12 - 13 years.

The story starts with the subject character, Stanley, at home in Lancashire. The reader is given an overview of his life there and as the story unfolds, the reasons Stanley has for wanting to join The British Army and go to fight in France. You will go with Stanley through his training. Your heart will go out to him and his comrades as they progress on their journey to fight this terrible war. You will applaud their bravery and you will be amazed at the war animals - dogs and horses alike.

The fact that the story is based on actual events of World War 1 makes the reader realise just how much we all owe to those soldiers. Just how much we owe to all the military of wars both past and present.

I do not wish to give you all the details of the story, as to do so will spoil your read. Just trust me that this book is exceptional, a brilliant read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective of the First Word War, 3 April 2013
By 
C. Colley (Lincs) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Paperback)
I've read plenty of war-themed novels, although this is the first time that I have read about the use of Messenger Dogs during the First World War. Dogs played a vital part during the war and proved to be as reliable as soldiers in the dangerous job of running messages.
The story revolves around a young boy, Stanley, and his experiences of being a dog-handler in the trenches of France. His brother, Tom, had already enlisted and Stanley joins up after an incident with his father, and Stanley felt that he could no longer live at home.
This is a good read about war, loss and family relationships. The war scenes are realistic, with several emotional and hard-hitting parts. The majority of the book follows Stanley at war, and towards the end of the novel I felt that it had taken up too much of the story. I enjoyed it, though, and think the story gives young and older readers a good insight into a different part of the First World War.
The Author's Note states that some of the events in the book are based on Airedale Jack, a dog who saved a battalion during the war.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Wonderful!, 3 July 2012
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Paperback)
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1917 and fourteen year old Stanley runs away from home, lies about his age and enlists in the Army. Attached to the Royal Engineers, after completing his training with Bones his Messenger Dog, together they head out to France and it's not long before they're in the trenches.

I loved this book and read it from cover to cover without putting it down; based on a true story the horrors of war are clearly depicted as is the role of the heroic Messenger Dogs who raced between troops carrying messages, fearless and loyal under heavy artillery fire.

As I read this story my heart pounded and I had a lump in my throat...truly unputdownable.

This is a Macmillan Childrens book and the cover states it's suitable for 9+ but adults would love it too, I certainly did. If you're thinking of buying this for a younger child you might want to read it first as some of the content could be upsetting.

Wonderful story, wonderful dogs and I learned a lot from it too...can't recommend it highly enough!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: box of tissues needed, 10 Sep 2013
By 
J.R.Hartley (NW England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Paperback)
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Absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking tale of the deep love between one boy and his dog set aganist the stupidity, futility and barbarity of the First World War that engrossed and moved our nine year old and had me wiping away the tears on numerous occasions. The tale itself is simple enough but the author uses the familiar tale of the ever-faithful hound to tell a wider tale without losing sight of the core of the book (love, devotion and hope) and without lapsing into sentimental silliness and instead he shows that despite the madness all around them love can survive. I can't recommend this enough regardless of whether you are 9 or 99 as it is the best "children's" book we have read for a long time. Just have that box of tissues handy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving., 7 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Kindle Edition)
I have read this so many times but each time it grips you as much as it did the first time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 21 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Soldier Dog (Kindle Edition)
Great story for anyone who likes War Horse. Very moving & brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion!
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Soldier Dog
Soldier Dog by Sam Angus (Paperback - 5 July 2012)
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