Review Blog

Aug 28 2013

Caesar the War Dog: Operation Blue Dragon by Stephen Dando-Collins

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Random House, 2013. ISBN 9780857980533. Ebook ISBN 9780857980540.
The first story in this series, Caesar the War Dog is based on the true story of Australian military dog Sarbi and its experiences in Afghanistan, combined with the factual experiences of Endal, the devoted British dog who cared for his wheelchair-bound ex-serviceman master and became the most decorated dog in history. And now Caesar, with his extraordinary explosive-detecting nose, is back with Ben, his master, on a new mission to Afghanistan, an essential part of a multi-national team searching for the Secretary-General of the United Nations who has been captured by the Taliban after his helicopter goes down.
This is an action-packed real-life adventure that gives the reader an insight into not just the amazing things that these dogs do, but the bond that can exist between master and dog. It demonstrates the courage of not only the dogs, but all those who serve in war, particularly those in the elite forces, yet its matter-of-factness does not glorify conflict. Interwoven with so much factual information, at times the reader wonders if this is not a true story and even as an adult reader, I was engrossed. As well as the notes of explanation at the back, teaching notes for the first story are available . If you have boys who are reluctant readers, this is one to suggest to them. I know one young lad and his soldier-father who will read this together and there will be another special connection made during the experience.
Barbara Braxton

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