Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
The Tortoise and the Soldier

The Tortoise and the Soldier

Spring 2016 Non-Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Michael Foreman
ISBN: 978-1-62779-173-1
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Publisher: Henry Holt

Growing up in the early 1900's, Henry Friston, longed to see the world. At nineteen, Henry joined the British Royal Navy where he got more than he bargained for. Assigned to the battleship, Implacable, Henry became a gunner on the Number Two Gun along with three other men.

When World War I broke out, the battleship was sent to Gallipoli where it shelled the Turkish highlands to try to protect the men going ashore. Henry was then assigned to go ashore to carry out the wounded which he wrote in his diary was "running into hell itself." When a shell landed near him, it blew him into a ravine and then blew a tortoise on top of him. Against all regulations, Henry smuggled the tortoise, whom he named Ali Pasha, onto the battleship. He and his mates cared for the stowaway throughout the war. They were always saving food from the mess "for later," which meant "for Ali Pasha." After the war, Henry took Ali Pasha home to England where the two became lifelong companions and rather famous fixtures.

Told in the first person as a young boy writing an article for the local newspaper, the author movingly reveals the wartime experiences of an elderly man whom the boy gradually comes to respect. With a blue and green palette, the excellent fine-line, watercolor illustrations by the author enhance his story. The front and back endpapers include actual pictures from the lives of Henry Friston and Ali Pasha.

Kemie Nix   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Look for this product at:
Henry Holt and Company Books for Young Readers

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