WILSON, Mark The Afghanistan Pup Lothian, 2014 unpaged $24.99 ISBN 9780734415325 SCIS 1651537
This emotionally powerful book is dedicated to Private Greg Sher, an SAS soldier from a Victorian Jewish family, killed in combat in 2009. It tells the story of a young labrador pup, first adopted by an Afghani school girl, then cared for by an Australian combat engineer after the girl’s school was bombed and finally reunited with her mistress, Kinah, when the rebuilt school reopened. The subtext of the story highlights the horror of war but also the common humanity that links us all. The book is enhanced by the illustrations that bring to life the girl, the pup and the young soldier. It is also seasoned by a judicious selection of newspaper cuttings that reinforce not only the reality of war but also the role our ADF has played and is still playing in its humanitarian work in theatres of conflict. Few can fail to be moved by this book that brings home the way war affects us all. This is a book that could be dark but is lightened by the hope of finding joy in the small things of life.
reviewed by John Cohen