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Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I (Dog Chronicles) Hardcover – October 1, 2013

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Magic Tree House 1-4
Magic Tree House 1-4
The adventures that started it all. Newly bound together, the first four books of the fan-favorite chapter-book series are the perfect introduction to the Magic Tree House series. Paperback | Kindle book | Magic Tree House series
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Darling, the book’s charming narrator, is an adventurous dog from a loving home in England. When WWI breaks out, the British army teaches her to be a mercy dog—one who locates wounded soldiers on the battlefield regardless of danger: gunfire, bomb blasts, poison gas, uneven terrain, and barbed wire. Renamed “War Dog 204,” Darling takes the reader from her village, to the training ground, and into the trenches of war-torn Belgium. She relates the sights, sounds, smells, and fears associated with war while valiantly putting her life on the line. In the heat of the Battle of Messines Ridge, Darling is wounded but manages to save trapped soldiers. This chapter book offers an introduction to the Great War but focuses on the unsung heroes of the battlefield. Darling’s tale is supplemented with interesting facts and background information about dogs and war, and this first book in the Dog Chronicles series will certainly delight young readers who love stories about their canine pals. Grades 3-5. --Jeanne Fredriksen

About the Author

Alison Hart is the author of more than twenty books for young readers. Hart is a teacher at Blue Ridge Community College.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dog Chronicles
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561457051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561457052
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alison Hart has been writing since she was seven years old when she wrote, illustrated and self-published The Wild Dog. (A book she still shows young readers to prove that it's never too early to be an author.) Today she is an adjunct college instructor teaching reading and writing as well as the author of over twenty mysteries and historical suspense novels for children and teens, including Gabriel's Horses, which has been nominated for over eight state awards. "I honed my craft writing Nancy Drew mysteries and quickly developed a love of strong characters who are thrown into suspenseful situations; in other words, I love writing books that keep young readers glued to the pages."

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue Morris from Kid Lit Reviews on October 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Darling, a mischievous collie, must leave the children she loves, and who love her, to become a soldier for the British. The tax on dogs rose once again and the family could no longer afford to feed her. The military will train Darling as either a messenger dog or a sentry dog, depending upon her skills. Darling’s best skill is her ability to run away. She likes to meet up with her friend Rags, who is a stray living alone in the chalk pits to avoid the dogcatcher who wants to send him to Battlesea Dog's Home, and the farmer out to shoot both dogs for trying to herd his sheep.

The first chance she had to run back home she would. Darling got that chance several weeks later at a final test, but turned around when she heard her handler and knew he was hurt. She failed the test, but a new position had been established and Darling seemed a perfect fit. The mercy dog worked on the front line--in "no man's land." The dogs were sent into the battlefield to find wounded soldiers. The dogs would return and then lead the medics out to the injured man. They brought the injured back on stretchers, following the dog to get back.

Darling worked the front lines magnificently, until she was hit with a bullet, several times. She was taken to the vet clinic set up back at the base camp. But if Darling did not get better, if she grew lame, if she could no longer perform the duty she was trained for, the military would reward her previously courageous acts that saved many men by shooting her. This happened to the horses as well. Rather than returning the dog to its owner. This is the saddest reality that many of the more than 7000 dogs that served in British military in WWI.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Benson on November 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I loved this new book by Alison Hart, which sheds light on the use of dogs in World War 1. Just as War Horse informed us of the plight of horses during this long war, Darling, Mercy Dog of World War 1 talks about the training and use of dogs for scouts, messengers, and mercy dogs to tend the wounded.

Told from the dog's point of view, Darling explains how she is sent away from her family in England for training, ultimately to serve in the trenches of the war in Europe. Although this book obviously is about a horrific war, it does not dwell excessively on these facts, but mostly details Darling's story: her struggles and triumphs, and the human connections she makes along the way. Because of this, author Alison Hart not only makes this story palatable to elementary readers, but it also tugged at a few heartstrings in this animal-loving grown-up. (Yes, I teared up at the end.)

Small Spoiler Alert: it has a happy, although not perfect, ending. One of a series of new dog books from Peachtree called Dog Chronicles, this one is especially good for dog and animal lovers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A gift to my granddaughter. She is an Alison Hart fan and has read several of her books.
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Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I (Dog Chronicles)
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