Children's Books

Sergeant Stubby Goes MIA

We were sent the book Why Did Sergeant Stubby Go to War? for a review. If you’ve been following the blog then you know I’ve been trying to get my son into reading. I thought this book would catch his attention because it involved a dog in an Army uniform. He likes dogs and is used to seeing his dad in uniform. How could he not like it?

Why Did Sergeant Stubby go to war book cover

Unfortunately Sgt. Stubby didn’t stand a chance. He did indeed go to war, just not the kind he was used to. It’s a war I’ve been on the forefront of since last year: Operation Toddler Destruction.

Every time I’d sit down and try to read the book, my son would grab it and throw it. This went on for several days until finally Sgt. Stubby was nowhere to be found. I assume he is in some secret hiding place biding his time until it’s safe to come out and finally be read. I’m looking forward to finding it and finally telling him the really heartwarming and true story of a homeless dog who became an American hero in World War I.

I read through the book myself before it disappeared and really enjoyed it. It’s told from the viewpoint of Private Robert Conroy, who relates the tale to his grandson when asked to tell a story. Pvt Conroy forged the closest bond with Stubby and smuggled him aboard the ship when they were sent to war in Europe. When Stubby was eventually discovered, legend has it he charmed the officers by saluting them with his paw.

Sgt Stubby, a bull terrier mutt who got his moniker from his stubby little tail and short legs, went on to earn one wound stripe and three service stripes making him the most decorated war dog from WWI. He served 18 months and participated in 17 battles saving his regiment from surprise mustard gas and even catching a German soldier!

The story, written by Cathy Werling and Illustrated by Christina Garcia, is one of those heart-warming stories that appeals to both children and adults. I admit, just reading about this little dog’s heroic efforts got me a little misty-eyed. I’m a sucker for animal stories. According to Werling, “The hope is that Stubby’s story will help children learn that the hero hiding inside each of us is not determined by our outward appearance.”

The book is part of the Lowell Milken Center’s Unsung Heroes book series. You can learn more and connect with Lowell Milken Center on social media here:

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