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Dogs of War

Dogs of WarDogs of War by Sheila Keenan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a set of three stories about dogs in war – it figures. There is one story from each of the World Wars and one from Vietnam, and each one takes a slightly left-of-centre look at the role that dogs have played in conflicts across the world and across time. The First World War story is set around the time of the ‘Silent Night’ Christmas. The dog in this story is a medical search dog who finds wounded soldiers in no-man’s-land. The WW2 dog is a husky who doesn’t play by the rules, but who is adopted by a young soldier who is serving in Greenland at the start of the war when Greenland was a transition point for American aircraft being sent to Britain and the Allies in Europe. The final story is set in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Henry lives with his mum in a trailer park in American’s south. Henry is bored and lonely until he is given Bouncer, a beagle pup. Lanford moves into the trailer next door and Henry tries to make friends. But Lanford has been damaged by his service in Vietnam, and especially by the loss of his canine buddy.
I enjoyed this book. Graphic novels and war stories are not something I usually read, but each of the stories felt authentic, and the differing point of view were interested. I found the illustrations cluttered and distracting at times, but, overall, this is a quality production. Particularly impressive were the author’s notes and bibliography at the end of the book: not so usual these days. Recommended.

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