Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Soldier Dog - Little M's review

Soldier Dog by Sam Angus

Soldier Dog has been nominated for the Carnegie 2013. This review is part of our shadowing of the longlist. But, the judging criteria have not been considered for this review.

Soldier Dog by Sam Angus
Soldier Dog is set in the Great War (WWI). It is about a boy named Stanley Ryder who signs up in the signals section of the British army but he does not know what he has signed himself up for. The section he signed up for was the Messenger Dogs which means he must train a dog to come back from where ever he is. This dog can give vital messages back to his Keeper, that’s Stanley. The dogs go through No Man’s Land and have a high risk of getting injured or killed. This can be very sad for the keeper.

While in the army, Stanley is also looking for his older brother Tom. Stanley wants to find him because their father did a terrible thing, something he would never forget or forgive: he killed Stanley’s dog.

This book made me cry an awful lot. I never knew how one book could make me cry so much. It is sad but it did make me laugh at some points. If you like Michael Morpurgo then I think you will love Soldier Dog; people who like books based on wars might like it too.

In some way it is like Michael Morpurgo’s novel, War Horse, in the sense that a boy has an animal that he deeply loves and then his father takes it away from him. They are also both set in a war time.

This was the first book I have read by Sam Angus. It has made me want to read more of her books when she writes them. Soldier Dog is her debut novel.

I am very happy that this book has been longlisted in the Carnegie and it is a book I think lots of people will enjoy and recommend.   

Publication details: 2012, Macmillan Children’s Books, London, paperback

This copy: received for exploring the Carnegie longlist from the publisher

This review counts towards Little M’s British Books Challenge 2013 and the Debut Author Challenge 2013.










  1. This sounds like a really good book. I always have trouble reading dog stories because I am afraid the dog will get killed - I never got over Sounder. But I'll give this one a try.

    1. I avoid the dog stories too, Alex. A thing that Little M and I have both noticed is that so many middle grade novels have a pet who dies in the story. I get nervous everytime there's a loved pet in a story! :)

    2. I hope you like the book. I love novels with dogs or animals in but I always have to have a box of tissues next to me, just in case. I think you will enjoy it, though don't forget the tissues. :p


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