And as promised in this post, I am finally ready to post the rest of my reviews for the Soldier Dogs series! Well, I only have 4, and there will be at least 6 before it’s all said and done, but I have to get my hands on 5 and 6 first, so…
About the Book:
Inspired by the stories of the real dogs who courageously served during World War II, this action-packed book takes readers into the action during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
When Skipper, the street dog all the Navy guys love, follows Joe home, Joe can’t believe his luck. But with a new baby brother in the house, he knows his family can’t afford the extra mouth to feed.
So he and his friends hatch a perfect plan: present Skipper to Joe’s dad, who works on the USS West Virginia, as a mascot dog for the ship. But when Joe is interrupted by the Japanese surprise attack on the harbor, it may be up to Skipper to make sure they all make it out alive.
Published 2018 by HarperCollins
My Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: This story had a unique kid’s eye-view of the battle of Pearl Harbor. Skipper was such a sweet dog and how they get involved in the action is quite entertaining, but deceptive. And since there was no mention of the boy being reprimanded later, I’m not too keen on that.
But to be honest, this book was a disappointment. The author went out of his way to make sure the readers knew blacks and whites hated each other…which wasn’t always true. In fact, for the most part, the two races got along pretty well in the 1940s. Yes, there was bigotry. I will not deny that. But it goes both ways, as this story unintentionally reveals. In trying to overstate that prejudice exists, the story doesn’t come off as “all people are created equal” but rather, “A white person treated me bad; therefore, all white people are bad. And if I meet one that is kind, he’s the exception.” While I am all for explaining the sin of bigotry to young people as a means of preventing them from falling into that, I do not condone putting down another race to lift up another. And comparing the bigotry of the sailor to the racism of Hitler was taking it way too far. While both are wrong, there is a marked difference between disliking someone for something they cannot help (nor need to, there is nothing wrong with anyone’s skin color) and wanting to kill them because of it. Big difference. The handling of this subject matter significantly dropped my rating. It had potential, but it missed the mark completely.
The author also made it seem like no one cared that Hawaiians were killed in the attack. In reality, the fact that civilians were killed in a military engagement gave the American people even more reason to support our going to war with Japan.
And I believe I also had to mark out a few bad words, but this was easily fixed.
The historical aspect of the story was well done. It was easy to be swept into the story and think that you were right there. I thank God I have never had to witness an attack such as that in person. (I did watch the Twin Towers fall on TV as a child, but like I said, it was on a screen.) It’s a frightening thing to imagine. It does make you appreciate all our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coastguardsmen do to keep us safe, often under the radar. (BTW, please be in prayer for our troops more than ever in these uncertain times. They need God’s protection, guidance and wisdom.)
Overall, I would only recommend this book if you have the time and desire to edit/explain the problems to your child/younger sibling. Otherwise…I’d recommend you save your money.
That’s it for now! Our next post will be a history post, so be sure and keep an eye out for that!
Have a Blessed Day!
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Christian. American. Southern. Author.