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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Meet Judy: an English Pointer and member of her Majesty's Royal Navy who served bravely alongside her crew during World War II. When her ship was sunk by the enemy, Judy became the only canine prisoner of war of the Japanese. Join Judy on her incredible journey from puppy to soldier to POW as she narrates her story of survival and heroism. This "dog's-eye view" takes readers into the heart of the naval action of WWII and will leave you cheering for Judy and her human companions as they overcome countless obstacles and prove time and again why a dog really is man's best friend.…

Overall Book Review:

Set during WWII, this book is told from the perspective of a ship dog, Judy. It follows her life’s experience as a ship dog as well as her time as a Prisoner of War. The events in the book really did happen and contributes a unique angle on WWII as it is centered on the Asian aspects of the war, rather than the European/American elements that are more commonly covered. However, not a great deal of detail is given. The suggested reading list in the back would provide a more in-depth look for those readers whose interest is sparked. 

While the subject matter contains a lot of war elements, it is not overly descriptive or gruesome. Most of the violence is implied or second-hand reports and not graphic in nature.

Young readers would be able to appreciate this book as it is not overly complex and being told in Judy’s voice adds a personal viewpoint. In addition, there are images at the end of the book of the real Judy.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  Country under siege; several references to bombs falling – some hitting ships, some cities, some causing death, some only causing property damage; a few references to gunfire – usually following bombings; smell of smoke and death; shouts of people left behind on ports; soldiers kicked dog; soldiers threw object at dog grabbed by neck and kicked across the street; vandalism of property; machine gun open fired; bomb hit oil ship, catching it on fire, and sinking it; some friends died; some friends injured; threats to kick/shoot dog; Pearl Harbor bombing; atomic bomb; soldier shot in leg; implied deaths; men in water shot at; small explosions on ship due to fire that reached the ammunition on board; moans of the wounded; threat of obedience or cutting off of heads; a few references to beatings and threats of beatings of Prisoners of War (POW); Implied deaths of those who went into hospital huts never coming out; torpedoes hitting ships; couple of blows; reports of deaths of men – 25 in one month, tripled in the next month – 10 in one day; dog sentenced to death; shots fired; implied death of dog secondary to health purposes.

Sex/Nudity:  Dog gets pregnant on 2 separate occasions and has puppies – no details are given other than she met another dog.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, bombings, survival for food and water, prisoners of War (starvation, beatings, etc.).

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite books are ones that change me and my perceptions of the world in a significant way. My favorite genre is probably historical fiction with biographies as a close second.