Thursday, August 8, 2013


Nubs:  The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, & a Miracle
by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Lawson, and Mary Nethery
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009
Audience:  Elementary Readers
2014 Blustem Nominee
ISBN:  9780316053181
Publication Date:  November 1, 2009

While on assignment in Iraq, Major Brian Dennis and his platoon met a pack of wild dogs.  All of the dogs seemed friendly, except for their leader who took much longer to warm up to the men.  Once he did warm up, Nubs, as the dog was called, became best friends with Major Dennis.  Nubs even walked over 70 miles while quite sick to catch up to his friend.  This story tells not only have Major Dennis saved Nubs, but how much joy a dog can bring in a tough situation.

I used to be pretty ambivalent about dogs.  I didn't particularly like them when I was growing up, but then we got Lucy and now I am a bona fide dog person now.  And as a dog person, this book took my heart!  He rescued a sad and lonely dog from a war zone!

Back to evaluating this story as a book.  The story is illustrated with pictures of Nubs and Major Dennis, so readers will see soldiers in uniform and see what kind of conditions the soldiers live in.  The text is laid out quite well.  The main points are presented in a large font size that would be enough to read in a storytime, or you can dig a little deeper with the text in a smaller font size and get the complete story.

I think that Nubs has a good chance as a Bluestem.  There are several things working in it's favor like universal appeal, short in length, and full of heart.  It's a short story that is not childish, so I see many readers picking it up just to make their Bluestem quota.  Also, it's a story that sticks with readers, so I don't think there will be much chance of readers forgetting about it when voting time comes around.

I loved it.  I read it to my husband, who normally hates when I do that, but since it was a dog story he allowed it.  I tried reading it to my dog, but she was more interested in sticks.  For more great heart-warming dog stories, check out Two Bobbies also by Kirby Lawson.  Pair that books with Nubs for a full story time of incredible dogs.

Happy Reading!

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