D-Day Dog

Cover: Tom Clohosy Cole

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 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

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

Translations : Italian (More here)

Signed and dedicated copies of all my books are available personalised to order from my local independent children’s bookshop “The Thoughtful Spot”  here.

Read Chapter 1 of D-Day Dog here

Find out more in the presenter 

“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

“a heart-wrenching, thought-provoking triumph of diversity, inclusion, and the power of knowledge to shape informed, balanced opinions.  A must for every school library” @MissCleveland


D-Day Dog has just been voted (April 2022) favourite children’s audiobook by Calibre Audio, the national charity that provides a completely free for life audiobook service to everyone with a disability that makes reading print difficult or impossible, thank you to all who listened to my book and Rachel Reay for narrating.

I was so happy the D-Day Dog was voted the overall winner at the 2020 FCBG Children’s Book Awards which is run by the wonderful Federation of Children’s Book Groups. The fact that over 100,000 children nominate, longlist, shortlist and choose the winners makes it all the more brilliant and satisfying for me. Thank you 100,000 times over.

 A massive thank you to all the Hull, Warwickshire, Hull & Portsmouth children who voted for us in their prizes!

And D-Day Dog is also listed for :

I wish all the children taking part a very happy time reading all the books and choosing their favourites!

Check out our gallery of school responses to D-Day Dog here


Poster to download here




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




What view do you think Jack and his new puppy are looking at?   

Can you draw the plane Emile and his dog Glenn are parachuting out or where they might be landing?

Download here 

Thank you @BGSLibraries









“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 


Things for schools and families to do to remember D-Day 75 years on


“Try D-Day Dog by Tom Palmer, which is well-timed for the upcoming 75th Anniversary of D-Day. Fantastic writing with a wide-ranging narrative, this story will prompt all who read it to think differently about conflict.” National Literacy Trust


1 – introduction

2 Omaha Beach: Where thousands of soldiers came ashore to liberate Europe

3 Dwight Eisenhower: the commander of the D-Day battle

4 Corteil and Glen’s story. From the fields where they landed.

5 Emile Corteil and Glen, the Paradog’s grave

Thinking about … 1 : understanding D-Day

What was D-Day?  The name given to the day that the Allied forces invaded France to begin the defeat of Hitler and Nazi Germany.

When did it take place?  On June 6th 1944

Where did it take place?  On the northern coast of France in a region called Normandy

Who took part?  Soldiers from many countries took part, but most were provided by Britain, the US and Canada. They were fighting against German forces on the French coast.

Why did it happen?  Germany had occupied most of Europe since 1939. They had murdered millions and enslaved millions more. The Allies were determined to defeat them and liberate Europe.

How did it happen?  Allied soldiers invaded France by sea and from the air, fighting to gain control of the beaches, then inland.


Thinking about … 2 : 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  … 3 :  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


“Based on the real life story of paratrooper Emile Corteil and his canine companion Glen, D-Day Dog is an amazing, sensitive and interesting exploration of war. Stories from WW2, the Falklands and Syria are woven together in this fascinating and fantastic book!” Miss Hall

“D-Day Dog (from Edinburgh publisher Barrington Stoke) is a sensitive and original story that packs emotional punch, without passing judgment about events or people. If you’re looking for a book that gets its readers to really reflect about conflict, this is it.”  Roaring Reads

“Another very emotional read from Tom Palmer and Barrington Stoke. They’re the perfect pairing”  Phil Earle, Author

“Fantastic writing with a wide-ranging narrative, this story will prompt all who read it to think differently about conflict.”  National Literacy Trust

“A slim yet impactful tale inspired by real-life events from World War II … Tom Palmer is, to my mind, the best author writing accessible history inspired children’s fiction today.”  John O Groats Journal

“A story full of heart, warm and so tenderly handled … With so much packed into a short read, there is every reason for this book to be devoured left, right and centre. Get it on your bookshelves — at the library, at school, at home. The children need this.”  That Boy Can Teach, Blog

“Tom Palmer sensitively yet unflinchingly discusses the consequences and emotions involved in warfare. Brilliantly researched, the book is full of fascinating facts which are woven together to create a truly moving and gripping read … leave time for conversations afterwards. The ideas and issues contained within this simple and compelling story are too important to gloss over.” Books for Topics


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