D-Day Dog

Jack can’t wait for the school trip to the D-Day landing beaches. It’s his chance to learn more about the war heroes he has always admired – brave men like his dad, who is a reserve soldier. But when his dad is called up to action and things at home spiral out of control, everything Jack believes about war is thrown into question. Finding comfort only in the presence of his loyal dog, Finn, Jack is drawn to the heart-wrenching true story of one particular D-Day paratrooper. On 6 June 1944, Emile Corteil parachuted into France with his dog, Glen – and Jack is determined to discover their fate …

A beautifully written and compelling novel, perfect for the
commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Publication Date : 2 May 2019

Written for 9+ children
Published by Barrington Stoke 
Available from your local librarybookshops and preorder from Amazon

Find out more in the presenter 

Be one of the first to read Chapter 1 of D-Day Dog here

Email admin@tompalmer.co.uk for more details about D-day Dog

“An amazing exploration of war, both past and present, which answers difficult questions about why soldiers choose to fight and die. Stories from World War 2, the Falklands and the current conflict in Syria are woven together in this sensitive little book.Aidan Severs, That Boy Can Teach

Resources  (and more coming soon)

D-Day Dog cover prediction worksheets 

Download here 




D-Day Dog Blackout Poem Challenge

Introduction and how to guide to create your own Blackout Poems, including suggested texts, examples and a certificate.

Download here


10 Questions about War for class discussions

Download here



Vocabulary picture (coming soon)

“It’s very thought provoking and as always very well written and crafted. I loved the depiction of the bond between Jack and Finn. I love the fact that you have a refugee child in the story but that it’s not a story about refugees; that you have a character that is not neuro-typical but it’s not a story about autism; that your children and staff are multicultural and ethnically diverse but it’s not about that.”  Kim Gibbins 

Thinking about … 1 : Animals in war 

“I starting thinking about animals’ involvement in war when we got our dog, Finn. It gave me conflicting thoughts about animals being heroic versus animals being frightened and innocent. It’s often when I can’t work out the rights and wrongs of things that I want to write about it. That’s what I tried to do with the boy character, Jack, in D-Day Dog. And his dog, also called Finn.

On Park Lane in London you can visit the Animals in War memorial. It is made up of a high curving wall that portrays images of animals sculpted into the surface of the stone, as well as bronze statues of two mules, a horse and a dog.

The main inscription on the stone reads:

Carved into the stone on the far end of the memorial are the words “They had no choice”.

If you find yourself in London, the memorial is very near Hyde Park and Oxford Street and can be reached by tube, bus and on foot. It is well worth a visit.” Tom 

Thinking about  … 2 :  war 

Since I was young I have been drawn to war stories. Sometimes interested. Sometimes horrified.

Like most people my age, when I was a kid, Sunday afternoons involved watching WW2 war films, when the soldiers and the battles they fought in were always heroic.  

I also grew up trying to make sense of the troubles in Northern Ireland on the TV news.   And wars in the Falkland Islands. Then the former Yugoslavia. Then Iraq and Libya. Now Syria.  I’m still confused about the idea justifying war. I’ve put a lot of my thoughts into D-Day Dog.

In 2018 I was invited on a school trip to Normandy by Ashville College in Harrogate. I went along with them in search of a story. Visiting the D-Day sites and cemeteries and listening to the children, I heard varied – and changing – attitudes to war. When we visited Corteil and Glenn’s grave together I knew I had found a true story that would help me explore what war looks like through children’s eyes in peacetime. With the schools’ help in thinking, planning, writing and editing, D-Day Dog is the result.” Tom 

Also see …  Forces Families

Video 1 – introduction


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