We actually borrowed two similar books and I decided we're going to wait awhile with the other one. If you're an animal lover this will take it's toll on you. It's not too harsh for the younger crowd and actually most of the dogs written about died naturally and of old age. But in between those you have the ones who died giving their life for their human(s). You have the ones who received horrendous wounds - to save their human(s). That's hard to read about no matter what for people like us.
Mattern really did manage to convey how loved these dogs were - by their humans. Which leads me to their government. Unfortunately, the dogs weren't cherished nearly as much by everyone. They still aren't. As far as I know, ever since Vietnam, our military dogs have been considered "equipment" and nothing more by our government. (This is where "orders" would fly out the window for myself.)
A lot of people have heard how our dogs were left, abandoned, in Vietnam when we left. I won't go into how I feel about that in particular... I could write for days. I will recommend two adult books however - fiction - Finding Jack: A Novel by Gareth Crocker and non - Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII by William W. Putney. Both are fantastic, fantastic, fantastic books. Gareth's reads like non-fiction. Both are highly emotional books written by talented men who truly, 100% love dogs.
Mattern even mentions the Guam memorial to war dogs with the inscription 'Always Faithful' at the base of the Dobermans statue. She mentions how the War Dog Memorial Fund is trying to get a stamp to honor these heroes. Why would that ever happen though? You can't honor "equipment". Which is, as far as I know, still how our dogs are classified ever since Vietnam. (Something else Mattern touches on.)
I've never seen equipment knowingly and selflessly save a man's life.
It boggles my mind how horribly messed up this country was, is and will continue to be on so many different levels. That's a topic for another time though.
Mattern also includes a number of websites to visit, ranging from memorials for those who died to the Beagle Brigade to the dogs of 9/11 to SAR dog stories.
http://www.qmfound.com/War_Dogs_Bibli... is supposed to give a "thorough list of books and articles" about dogs from all branches of the military. I'll be checking that out shortly.
I'd recommend but I'd recommend feeling your way through it and knowing beforehand what your child - and you - can handle.
**I should note that a good number of the links included in the book are broken. Many are no longer there or suspicious. Luckily Google comes in quite handy at times like these and very luckily the bibliography is still there.**
Book tags: true, tales, courageous, dogs, epub, download, epub, joanne mattern