A boy, his dog, hard life choices, a brother, and a war to fight. Sam Angus put together an excellent book on the life of messenger dogs in the battle during World War 1.
Stanley is left at home with his dad who has turned miserable in the loss of his beloved wife and his worry over his older boy being in the war. Breeder of dogs and horses, preferring only the purebred lines, "Da" has lost so much he has yet to find himself and treat others with the love he has buried inside himself.
After the loss of the puppies, Stanley leaves home with one goal in his 13 year old head. Find his brother Tom. The only way to do so is to join the army. Telling them that he's 17, the war office helped him meet the minimum requirements and Stanley finds himself training a big great dane to for the work of a messenger dogs.
Against all odds he manages to train his dog Bones and is sent into battle.
As much as I want to tell you the whole story I can't... I don't want to issue any spoilers.
GO get the book. READ IT. If you don't think your children can read it on the own, read it with them. Talk it through with them, but just read the book. Sam Angus put together a good book about real history and it's worth reading.
Did you know she took the idea from a real dog doing this job? Though the army preferred to use lurchers (poachers dogs, half-breeds) Jack the Airedale proved his mettle in combat. You can learn more about him here.