Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction

Military Animals with Dog Tags – Because some heroes have more than two legs

military animalsMilitary Animals with Dog Tags, by Laurie Calkhoven (Aug. 2015, Scholastic), $7.99, ISBN: 9780545871594

Recommended for ages 7-11

You may know that horses were on the battlefield at war time, especially before vehicles like tanks and Jeeps came along. You may have even seen recent pictures of dogs aiding our soldiers overseas. But did you know that Poland had a bear that was a private? Or that honeybees have been used to sniff out bombs?


Military Animals tells the stories of different animals who have served in the military throughout time. You’ll learn about elephants, who have aided military operations from ancient history through to the VietNam War; how rats can find unexploded land mines (without getting blown up!), and how dolphins have helped with underwater surveillance. There are beautiful photos, stories that kids will love hearing about (great for read-alouds) and reading about, and a glossary and index at the end of the book. Get this one for your animal lovers and talk about the great things animals do to help us out. Then, brainstorm things that the animals in your own lives to do help you out – for instance, my cat helps cheer me up by cuddling with me when I don’t feel well, and my dog helps protect our home.

Author Laurie Calkhoven is all over my library. She’s written some great biographies for kids, and she’s written books for both the American Girl and Heroes of Olympus series, both of which see a lot of action in my public library. Her author website has links to her books and information about author visits.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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