Darling: Mercy Dog of World War I

Alison Hart, illus. by Michael G. Montgomery. Peachtree, $12.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-56145-705-2
A rambunctious family pet becomes a vigilant Red Cross dog in this first book in Hart’s Dog Chronicles. A herder by breed, Darling constantly runs away from her young owners, Robert and Katherine, and insists, “I didn’t care about war and hard times” when the children’s father ships out from England to France during WWI. The dog has a change of attitude after her family, unable to pay the increased dog tax, volunteers her for service in the British army. Though the dog doesn’t actually perform a rescue mission until more than halfway through the novel, her descriptions of life on the Belgian front carry weight. Montgomery’s soft pencil drawings reinforce the affection between Darling and her handlers, and back matter offers additional facts about WWI and military dogs. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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