Thursday, 4 April 2013

ARC Review : Soldier Dog

Title : Soldier Dog
Author : Sam Angus
Rating: 5 Stars!
Hardcover, 256 pages
Expected publication: April 16th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN : 1250018641 (ISBN13: 9781250018649)
With his older brother gone to fight in the Great War, and his father prone to sudden rages, 14-year-old Stanley devotes himself to taking care of the family’s greyhound and puppies. Until the morning Stanley wakes to find the puppies gone.

Determined to find his brother, Stanley runs away to join an increasingly desperate army. Assigned to the experimental War Dog School, Stanley is given a problematic Great Dane named Bones to train. Against all odds, the pair excels, and Stanley is sent to France.

But the war in France is larger and more brutal than Stanley ever imagined. How can one young boy survive and find his brother with only a dog to help?

Source : Goodreads 
This book is intended form 9 years old and up, I can definitely prove that this book can already encompass a bold and raw figure of duty and amity towards your family and pets. I'm not a typical reader when it comes to pets and regarding their companions, but when I started reading this book, I've never felt more curious to read more about this kind of genre.  I can't explain carefully and thoroughly how should I express my love within this book. It displays an immeasurable amount of unconditional love from a family up to his companionship with his dogs. This book also depicts a unique kind of strength and responsibility that a young boy can possess. It seems unimaginable but Sam Angus expresses it with deep words.

The story took place within the time of World War I, its the another thing that made this story very unique and deeply moving. Imagine a fourteen year old boy enduring the pain of possibilities of losing a life or loved one and it adds up with the loyalty of a dog, it results in a very captivating manner in every ways that I might think. It starts from the year 1917 when life is so much fragile because of the times of war. Stanley seems innocent at first but he already knows when to engage the part of being responsible at young age. The moment her brother were sent into war already felt abominable for him, but he has no choice, his brother already gave him the authority of taking care of their Father or Da. His father wasn't highly contented with Stanley and with his tasks on taking care of the dogs and horses, so his father decided to better sell or just give it to another people. But Stanley showed a deep compassion to his dogs and it moves me at the core. When he discovered that his dog was missing the next day, he decided to run away and face the war to follow his brothers footsteps.

At first, I found it very silly and childish to imagine that a boy would just run away because of knowing that his dog might be drowned because of his father. But this novel is more than running away and facing all the depths of death at a young age. You'll definitely feel the connection of Stanley with his dogs. I almost cried everytime they are on training and Stanley looks upon the eyes of Bones/Soldier. It feels like I'm totally supporting the two of them to overcome every obstacle that they will face.

Everytime I read the exchanging letters of Stanley between other people in his life, like his brother, I find it very deeply moving. Behind those handwritten letters, emotions were all poured out. That's the another reason why I totally loved this novel.  

It suddenly gives me a new breath of setting in World War. Sam Angus clearly made it very tragical and unique at the same time. The sole reason that I gave it a 5 star, The Soldier Dog brings me into a rare amount of friendship between a dog and man. The world and its situation can carry your mind into oblivion until you found yourself supporting Stanley and Soldier to survive.
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