It is 1940 and bombs are raining down on London. 13 year old Jack navigates the smoky streets, dodging shrapnel and listening for cries for help, as a bike messenger for the Fire Brigade. When Jack finds a dog after a raid, he soon realises that the dog he calls Rip can sense people alive trapped under the rubble.

Together Jack and Rip start to save lives in the Blitz. And if Jack's friend, Paula, is right about an impending Nazi invasion, he and Rip will need to do all they can to help Jewish families like hers.

Based on true episodes during the London Blitz in WW2, this action packed and touching story explores the beginnings of search and rescue dogs and the bravery of young people determined to 'do their bit' to help their country.

Author Incentive Award : PJ Ourway.



Jack's role as Blitz messenger boy and Rip’s owner creates the framework for a nail-biting adventure, but this is also a tale of friendship and family, in which no one is completely whole. . . . will surely appeal to young readers.

The New York Times
Amid the dark, danger, falling bombs, and debris, Halahmy’s characters (human and animal) display courage and true acts of friendship.

Jack’s transformation—from a boy who was bullied in school for his one deaf ear to a brave one with a ragtag and loyal group of friends—stands out, as does his relationship with the dog, who also hears in only one ear. Based on the adventures of an actual canine, this British import is a taut and affecting historical novel of friendship and courage.

Publishers Weekly
This fast-paced historic adventure juxtaposes schoolyard scuffles, scrapes, and black eyes against the horrors of the nightly bombings of England. Characters are fully developed yet evolve quickly and realistically, as is often the case for children growing up in a traumatically war-torn country. Several characters, including Rip the dog, are based on actual wartime heroes. This title is a fine addition to the abundant genre of WWII children's literature.

School Library Connection