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Dogs of War

By Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox. 208 pp. Scholastic, 2013. $12.99.

This well-executed graphic novel, based on real war stories about canine escapades of derring-do, is really three tales about World War I, World War II, and Vietnam that share a thematic center: the special relationship between soldiers and their dogs.

In the World War II chapter, it’s 1942, and Loki is part of a sled dog team at Sondrestrom Air Force Base in Greenland, a vital way station for American warplanes heading to England as part of the build-up. The sled dog has a bad rep as a slacker. But newcomer Private Cooper, a Maine boy who can handle snow and dog teams, takes an instant shine to Loki and decides to train him right, even though Cooper’s gruff sergeant thinks it’s a waste of time. When a P-38 carrying a top-secret Norden bombsight crashes far from the base, Loki and Cooper have to prove their mettle in a fierce blizzard: three Nazi soldiers, landed by a commandeered Danish freighter, are prowling on recon with that bombsight as their target. Suspenseful, non-gory fun for ages 8 to 12.


Originally published in the February 2014 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.