The dog with seven names by Dianne Wolfer
Random House, 2018. ISBN 9780143787457
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Themes: Dogs, Loyalty, World War Two, Northern Australia. Born the runt of the litter on a cattle station in northern Western Australia, Princess' only hope is to be loved by the station boss' daughter. She thrives with the attention given her by Elsie but when war looms over the north and Darwin is bombed by the Japanese in 1942, most of the family moves south, leaving Princess with one of the drovers on his way to enlist in Darwin. But partway through their journey disaster strikes and Stan is hit by a falling branch. Her next journey sees her aboard a Royal Flying Doctor Aircraft and from her vantage point she is able to offer comfort to the wounded.
So Wolfer tells a wonderful historical novel set in the Norther Territory during World War Two, through the eyes of this little dog, Princess. Children reading the story will thrill with the expectation that Princess and her owner will eventually be reunited, after seven new names, and along the way see some extraordinary sights of what it was like during the northern air raids during World War Two.
An historical novel with a difference, told from the perspective of a little dog, the book is enchanting, drawing all readers into the plight of the animal left with virtual strangers as his owner moves south.
Wolfer's historical novels are well worth the read, creating a believable scenario, likeable characters told within a setting at once familiar yet different and interesting.