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In the First World War, three soldiers who are part of a fictional Canadian platoon, the Storming Normans, bond while facing the terrible hardships of war. As their platoon prepares to attack Vimy Ridge, they are assisted by various animals who play significant roles—among them, a cat that patrols the trenches killing the rats that are afflicting the soldiers, a carrier pigeon that saves the lives of many men, a border collie that runs messages between handlers, and a mule that carries armaments and helps avert disaster. Each of the stories is based on actual animals that performed heroically; some even received war medals.

In this juvenile novel that weaves together fact and fiction, author Sigmund Brouwer celebrates the contribution of Canada’s First Nations’ soldiers to the war effort and exposes and laments the unjust ways they were treated when they returned home after the war. Ages 8 and up. (Tundra Books)

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