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Review: No Better Friend

August 6, 2015

No Better Friend

Judy was a purebred pointer who was adopted by the men of the HMS Gnat as a mascot in 1936.  The Gnat was a gunboat assigned to protect shipping lanes and repel pirates in China’s Yangtze River.   Several years later, Judy transferred to the Grasshopper with some of the crew – when that ship was sunk, stranding Judy and many of the men on a deserted island, Judy helped everyone survive by finding a source of fresh water.  The party tried to find a way off the island but they were too late and were captured by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner of war camp.  It was at Camp Gloegoer that Judy met Frank Williams, and the two became faithful friends for life.

No Better Friend by Robert Weintraub is the amazing story of Judy, the only dog to be a prisoner of war during World War II.  No one has to be told what life was like in a prisoner of war camp but imagine what it was like if you were trying to keep yourself and a dog alive through the ordeal.  Judy was one smart dog with an amazing instinct for survival.  Williams aided her in her survival but she returned the favor.

I have to admit that No Better Friend started out slow for me as Weintraub filled in Judy’s history and background on the war but once the action started, I was fully engaged and rooting for Judy.  I held my breath through the tense moments and marveled at the tenacity of this marvelous dog.  I found this little known story from World War II fascinating and recommend it to history buffs and animal lovers.

Review copy provided by Little, Brown. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2015 7:29 am

    Someone just donated this book to our shop, I’ll have to take a closer look at it.

  2. August 6, 2015 7:46 am

    I love a good dog story, but worry about the POW angle…

  3. August 6, 2015 7:59 am

    Setting and story both intriguing

  4. Patty permalink
    August 6, 2015 8:35 am

    I love hearing about these stories but I can’t read them…too sad…

  5. Beth F permalink
    August 6, 2015 9:02 am

    Wow, this is the first I’ve heard of this story and dog. I bet it was a difficult read at times.

  6. August 6, 2015 9:48 am

    Does she survive? I can’t read it if it’s gonna make me cry all over the place!

  7. Beth Hoffman permalink
    August 6, 2015 10:18 am

    I am SO glad you put in the spoiler alert. Thanks, Kathy. I love stories with animals, but when they end up maimed or dead, I fall apart and am totally wrecked. This is going on my list.

  8. August 6, 2015 10:53 am

    I’m a marshmallow when it comes to dogs, so this does interest me even though I usually don’t read anything WW II.

  9. August 6, 2015 11:11 am

    I’m grateful for the spoiler alert too, Kathy! What an inspiring story. I will definitely have to give this one a try.

  10. August 6, 2015 2:10 pm

    I’m with those that wouldn’t want to read if the dog didn’t survive. Thanks for telling us about this book – I hadn’t heard of it before.

  11. August 6, 2015 2:51 pm

    oh my gosh, not sure I could read this one without weeping

  12. August 6, 2015 4:24 pm

    Animal books and movies always makes me cry

  13. August 6, 2015 4:46 pm

    Gosh I can only imagine how they would treat a dog in a POW camp. Poor Judy! I have not heard of this story. thanks!

  14. August 6, 2015 5:50 pm

    Wonderful review, Kathy, and I appreciate the spoiler alert. This book sounds like a must-read for me.

  15. Diane permalink
    August 6, 2015 9:54 pm

    Wow–this seems like a tough one, glad u gave us the spoiler.

  16. August 7, 2015 2:03 pm

    This sounds fantastic!

  17. bookingmama permalink
    August 8, 2015 12:00 pm

    What a special story!!!

  18. August 9, 2015 11:30 am

    Wow, this sounds really great!

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