Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I" by Alison Hart & Illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery

About the book:  At home in England, Darling is a mischievous but much loved pet to Robert and Katherine. But when the British military asks families to volunteer their dogs to help the war effort, they send Darling off to be trained, even though it is very hard to say goodbye. Darling goes through training along with many other dogs and is ultimately used as a mercy dog, seeking out injured soldiers on the battlefield and leading the medics to them. After saving the lives of numerous soldiers, Darling is faced with a major challenge.

"Dear soldier,
This is Darling.  She is smart and brave.  Please take care of her and send her home to us.  We love her even though she runs away sometimes.
                 Yours truly, Robert and Katherine." 
This note is attached to Darling's collar when she arrives at the British training camp.  Young dog-lovers will enjoy Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I, where history is told from a dog's point of view. Facts about trench warfare and the role of animals in World War I are woven into a whimsical tale of a runaway dog. Darling and her friends brave German gunfire to save the lives of British soldiers and deliver messages to the front. Readers find themselves at the battlefront as Darling wears a gas mask and crawls through barbed wire. Darling and Private Kent take care of each other, but will they make it back home?

This chapter book has engaging illustrations scattered throughout, though not in overabundance. While an early-chapter-reading elementary child can read the book, the subject matter might frighten the younger child. Perhaps a middle to upper elementary child would be best suited for the story.

Very little is taught to students in today's educational system about World War I. This little book can serve as an introduction to the war period for the young student.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary hardcover copy of Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I. There was no obligation to review, but it was a pleasure to do so.


  1. Looks like a wonderful book. Reminded me of the Animals in War memorial they have in central London (on Park Lane) dedicated to animals who served in wars. I often looked at it when I was waiting at the lights in my car and was struck by one of the inscriptions: "They had no choice."

  2. What a lovely story!
    Thank you for sharing this book with the Kid Lit Blog Hop!


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