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.
Cover by Tom Clohosy Cole
Read Chapter 1 of D-Day Dog here
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“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 shortlisted for the 2020 Grampian Children’s Book Award, the Cheshire Schools Book Award 2020, the Cumbria Schools’ Library Service Primary Spellbinding shortlist, the Reading Rampage Doncaster shortlist, the James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award shortlist and the Nottinghamshire ELS Brilliant Book Award longlist. 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
D-Day Dog cover prediction worksheets
D-Day Dog Blackout Poem Challenge
10 Questions about War for class discussions
Can you draw the plane Emile and his dog Glenn are parachuting out or where they might be landing?
“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
“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:
THIS MONUMENT IS DEDICATED TO ALL THE ANIMALS THAT SERVED AND DIED ALONGSIDE BRITISH AND ALLIED FORCES IN WARS AND CAMPAIGNS THROUGHOUT TIME
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
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