The Tortoise and the Soldier

The Tortoise and the SoldierA Story of Courage and Friendship in World War I

By Michael Forman

The Tortoise and the Soldier is based on a true story about a veteran who served as a sailor in World War I. The book opens with a young reporter for a British newspaper interviewing veteran Henry Friston about the pet tortoise he obtained when he served in the war. Henry relates his life story and shares his diary. As a young man, he joins the Royal Navy. As he was rescuing the wounded during the War he encounters the tortoise, names it Ali Pasha, and brings it aboard his ship. Ali becomes a mascot for the gun crew. After the war Henry brings Ali Pasha home and the tortoise lived with him throughout his life. This book provides vivid accounts of battles and insights into one who fought in World War I. The illustrations are well-done and the few photographs help you feel part of the story. This is a good book for Grades 4th-8th.

Review by Debbie Woolsey, Westbrook Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-8

The Tortoise and the Soldier: A Story of Courage and Friendship in World War I
By Michael Forman
Henry Holt and Company
115 pages
Release Date: November 24, 2015

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