Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Darling, Mercy Dog of World War I

Part of Dog Chronicles

by Alison Hart
illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery

An action-packed, heartwarming story of a World War I canine hero

When the British military asks for dogs to help the war effort, Darling’s family reluctantly sends her to be trained as a mercy dog. Through gunfire and poisonous gases, it’s Darling’s job to find injured soldiers on the battlefield and fetch help from the medics. After saving the lives of numerous soldiers, Darling suddenly finds herself in need of rescue. Will she ever make it back to England?

This wartime adventure, the first installment in Alison Hart’s Dog Chronicles series, is a touching and exciting introduction to World War I. Darling’s story of bravery and devotion reminds readers that dogs can be so much more than pets.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-705-2
Publication Date: 10/1/2013
Page Count: 160
Size: 6″ x 8-1/2″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-981-0
Publication Date: 4/1/2017
Page Count: 160
Size: 5″ x 7-1/8″
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-870-7
Age Range: 7 – 10
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 4.9
F&P: GRL V, Gr 5, Genre F
Lexile: 660L
Themes: Bravery, Dogs, Loyalty, World War I
BISAC 1: JUV016080 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Military & Wars
BISAC 2: JUV016040 JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Europe
BISAC 3: JUV002070 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dogs


“Descriptions of life on the Belgian front carry weight. Montgomery’s soft pencil drawings reinforce the affection between Darling and her handlers, and back matter offers additional facts about WWI and military dogs.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The simple narrative is detailed but never graphic… While never shying away from the tragedies of battle, Darling’s story focuses on bravery, sacrifice and devotion. Finely detailed pencil sketches and an afterword explaining the history behind the story are included. Wartime adventure with plenty of heart.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Darling is a well-told, fast-paced and touching story that vividly depicts battlefield conditions in World War I.” ―Richmond Times

“The pencil drawing illustrations fit in nicely with the text. Darling is an amazing dog who never forgot about the two children she loved, and who loved her. This historical fiction book should be on every required reading list for kids age eight and up.” ―Kid Lit Reviews

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“This book is part of a series [titled] Dog Chronicles, and would be especially interesting to elementary students who love to read about dogs. While Darling is injured, the book is not overly gory and ends on a hopeful note.” ―Ms. Yingling Reads

“In addition to all the satisfying action and adventure they’ll find in the book, kids will be drawn into the story because of several meaningful relationships detailed.” ―Good Reads with Ronna

“This volume combines history and love of animals in a unique way. It will hold kids’ attention and increase their reading comprehension. The content is well-researched and contains a table of contents, further facts, map, bibliography, for further reading section, and websites.” ―4th Grade Reading

“Pet lovers will love reading a book told from the point of view of a dog. This would be a good book for any kid who loves pets, or historical fiction.” ―Gidget’s Bookworms

“I absolutely loved this book! I was a little hesitant at first, as I was afraid that it would fall into the ‘dog book’ trap and have an unhappy ending, but it didn’t! I loved that the book was told from Darling’s perspective, rather than a narrator. I felt like it gave the book more OOMPH, as you could almost feel what Darling was going through.” ―Maestra Amanda’s Bookshelf



Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Starred, Intermediate) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2014

Delaware Diamonds (Nominee, Grades 3-5) ―Diamond State Reading Association, 2014-2015

Golden Sower Award (Nominee, Intermediate) ―Nebraska Library Association, 2015-2016

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Meet the Author

Alison Hart is the author of more than sixty books for young readers. Hart was a teacher at Blue Ridge Community College and lives in Virginia.

Meet the Illustrator

Michael G. Montgomery has illustrated numerous children’s books. He attended Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia. He lives in Georgia. You can visit his website here.