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
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: