Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I's Bravest Dog by Ann Bausum

Cover image for Stubby the war dog : the true story of world war I 's bravest dogStubby was a mixed bread dog who started hanging around the new recruits who were drilling at Yale before being sent over to Europe at the beginning of WWI. A young soldier named Conroy became attached to Stubby, and when it was time to ship out, smuggled him onto the ship.  Stubby became the mascot of his master's unit in France, and used his canine skills to help the soldiers. He could tell which soldiers were still alive after a battle.  He helped keep down rats in the trenches.  One time he even helped capture a German soldier who was sneaking around near the camp. After the war, Conroy actively promoted the dog, showing him in parades, and a VFW events until his death.  At his death he arranged to have the dog stuffed, and later donated the taxidermy dog and his memorabilia to the Smithsonian. This is a interesting short nonfiction. I think adults will see it from a different angle than children.  For children it is just the story of a brave and beloved dog, but adults have to wonder what was Conroy's motivation and psychological state.  Ms Bausum is careful to separate fact for legend, and always refers to her primary sources.  She ends the book with a short note about how she found out about and researched Stubby's story.  The book is illustrated with photos from a scrap book Stubby's master kept for him during the war and after he became famous.(72 p)

No comments:

Post a Comment