To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
|Tortoise and the soldier|
Author: Foreman, Michael
As a boy, Henry Friston dreamed of traveling the world. He thought he was signing up for a lifetime of adventure when he joined the Royal Navy. But when World War I begins, it launches the world, and Henry, into turmoil. While facing enemy fire at Gallipoli, Henry discovers the strength he needs to survive in an unexpected source: a tortoise. And so begins the friendship of a lifetime. Based on true events, and with charming illustrations, this story of war, courage, and friendship will win the hearts of readers.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.20
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 181568
Common Core Standards
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/15/15)
School Library Journal (10/01/15)
Booklist (+) (11/15/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 Gr 3–5—Based on a true story, this book opens with a young reporter for a British newspaper interviewing veteran Henry Friston about the pet tortoise he obtained when he served as a sailor in World War I. Friston relates his life story and shares his diary, describing his childhood as a poor student who daydreamed about traveling the world. As a young man, he joins the Royal Navy on the eve of the war. He rescues the wounded on Gallipoli, where he encounters the tortoise, names it Ali Pasha, and brings it aboard his ship. Ali becomes a mascot for the gun crew. After witnessing more action, Friston returns to England with Ali Pasha to live out the rest of his days as a gardener, with Ali becoming a local tourist attraction. This is an intriguing story that provides vivid accounts of battles and insight into one who fought. Haunting drawings convey the grimness of war in a way that children will find relatable, while maps and a few photographs flesh out the events. The title is somewhat misleading, as the tortoise is a fairly minor character (the bulk of the story focuses on Friston's war experiences). The book lacks a glossary for those not versed in Briticisms. Minor criticisms aside, this is a captivating story that will be read in one sitting. VERDICT An enticing and well-written tale that will be relished by those who enjoyed Michael Morpurgo's War Horse (Scholastic, 2007).—Margaret Nunes, Gwinnett County Public Library, GA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/2015 *Starred Review* A fine storyteller and a notable English illustrator, Foreman constructs a riveting tale-within-a-tale. In the framing story, Trev is a young journalist-in-training in the 1950s. Sent out to report on “Mister Friston’s tortoise” for his local paper, he meets Henry Friston, a veteran of WWI, and Ali Pasha, the tortoise he befriended in a crater during the Battle of Gallipoli. Trev relates Henry’s story beginning in childhood, but focuses on his wartime experiences in the Royal Navy: the hard work at sea, the thrill of seeing the world, and his abject terror on the battlefield. Passages from Henry’s diary appear at intervals, offering close-up views of events. The watercolor artwork is varied in composition and tone—sometimes dramatic, occasionally comical, and always engaging. A good choice for independent readers who want war stories but may not be ready for more horrific accounts, this beautifully illustrated book also reads aloud well. A few period photos appear in the back matter, where Foreman reveals that the Henry Friston narrative is based on fact. As a boy during WWII, he knew Friston, his son, and Ali Pasha. A memorable story of war, growing up, and, yes, a tortoise. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.