'D-Day Dog' is wise, real and important. Genuinely moving and full of great discussion about war, including Syria and the Falklands too. If you are teaching WW2 this is a brilliant book to use.
Jack will soon be going on a school trip to Normandy, to the D-Day landing beaches. But in researching about how paratroopers used dogs in part of the campaign, Jack is incensed and uncertain if he wants to go on the trip at all. To top that off, his father might be leaving to serve in the army in Afghanistan, causing arguments at home. Will Jack be able to come to terms with the idea of war?
Tom Palmer has written a clear, intelligent and emotional story about the effects of war - and not just of WW2. What sets this wonderful book apart from other books written about WW2 is that this concerns children's response to war today and why it is necessary to still learn from the past. This is vital for children who may find it difficult to engage with history. Through Jack many readers will be able to join the dots and see how war impacts us now. Having a Syrian girl refugee in the class forces both Jack and the reader to see war through a different lens. Touching on the Falklands and Afghanistan conflicts adds even more depth too. There are so many discussion points here while the story is written lucidly and with moral integrity.
Not only that but Palmer also captures the inner lives of young children with tenderness, compassion and clarity. Jack, his friends, the teachers - everyone feels rounded and realistic. There is a skill to bringing characters to life in relatively simple prose, and Palmer does this in abundance. Teachers will relish the opportunity to teach using this book. Absolutely brilliant stuff!
Teachers, take notice! Tom Palmer is an author that should be on all your bookshelves!