Astra is a sleek, beautiful, shiny Gulfstream (G100) airplane with a fun and playful personality, who finds herself all alone in her hangar with an uncertain fate, as she learns she will be sold. She is missing the fresh air and exercise, and wondering if she will even remember how to fly, after being flown by her sole caretaker and constant companion named Captain Dan for 12 years. She becomes sad and lonely as she sits rusting in her hangar. Captain Dan comes to check on her and start up her engines once in a while, but she will not be able to fly until she has a new owner. Finally, a series of not too friendly and quirky potential owners take her for a test flight, and she discourages each one of them from buying her in a humorous and playful way, as only a plane can. Eventually the right owner comes along, and he is the perfect match for both her and her long-time partner Captain Dan. They fly cross country to California, to their new home, and Astra is tired a bit lagged, so Captain Dan parks her safely in her new hangar for the night, and assures her everything will be alright. Stay tuned for Book Two.
When a little stray puppy befriends a soldier named Robert Conroy training to go to war in 1917, he starts out on an amazing journey as the private teaches him all he needs to know to become a U.S. Army soldier too. After sneaking him on board a ship heading to Europe, the two best friends fight side-by-side in what soon becomes the biggest war the world has ever seen!
The little dog, affectionately named “Stubby” because of his stout tail, learns to bravely confront all the brand new warfare devices he encounters including tanks, machine guns, planes, and mustard gas as he proudly serves his country in the First World War and becomes a true American war hero.
This well-researched historical fiction novella makes reading about history fun for readers both young and old(er). It’s an entertaining way to introduce young readers to all the “firsts” of World War I as they experience it all through the eyes of this real little dog who served in it so bravely.
There is a historical facts sheet at the end to let readers know which parts of the story were taken from real places, events, and battles and which parts were fictionalized (to keep the storyline moving at an interesting pace).
NOTE: A Lesson Plan and Glossary of terms related to the time period are available for FREE on the book’s website to accompany this book in a classroom setting.