War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

Written By: Rebecca Frankel

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; Reprint edition (September 6, 2016)

YA Non-Fiction

I love that this book starts with a quote from Where the Red Fern Grows. How amazingly appropriate. These dogs are full-fledged members of our military, just as the dogs in Red Fern were a part of Billy’s trapping business and were his best friends.

The bonds between the soldiers and the dogs are strong, and there are some heartbreaking stories. It is an adult subject matter and having owned a few dogs as pets I found myself feeling sorry for the dogs. I realize a human life is always more important than a dog- still, it is a difficult and ethically sticky subject for animal lovers.

Overall this book covers the topic of dogs in the military in kind of a boring way. I wasn’t “drawn into” most of the stories and found some of the first person narration annoying. The plot jumps around a lot between training and dogs at home that has PTSD.

Overall, It’s a decent introduction to the last decade or so of dogs in the middle east. As with most of these nonfiction books how much you enjoy it depends on your interest level in the subject.

I borrowed this book from the Chicago Public Library to review it for the Cybils.