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Semper Fido (Dog Tags #1)

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  230 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Man's best friend goes to war.

When Gus Dempsey joins the US Marine Corps, he knows without a doubt that he will make a great dog handler. He's always been good with dogs. In fact, he's often better with dogs than he is with people.

But Loki is not the dog that Gus was expecting. Fun-loving and playful, Loki acts more like a pet than the well-trained, bomb-sniffing Marine th
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Scholastic (first published September 1st 2012)
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Ms. Yingling
Oct 16, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it really liked it
Gus has enlisted in the Marines against the wishes of his mother, since his father abandoned the family after a tour in the military. He ends up training dogs at Lackland Air Force base and is assigned Loki, a a dog who has already been in Afghanistan but whose handler was killed.Because Gus works so hard with Loki, they are sent back very quickly, since there is a shortage of dogs who can detect bombs, and many of the units are being sabotaged by these during their patrols. Gus wants to do a go ...more
Sarah McPherson
Jan 02, 2016 Sarah McPherson rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome and sad. But te awesome out ways the sad. And that's good.
Terri Floccare
Sep 28, 2015 Terri Floccare rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
A middle grade book that tells the story of a marine in Afghanistan and his military working dog. I learned a lot about how the military uses dogs and got a look at the what life might be like at an outpost in a hostile land. In addition to learning a lot, the author tells a good story. He doesn't give the reader the answer to tough problems and is able to remain apolitical and still tell a good story.
Quenton Hua
Sep 02, 2013 Quenton Hua rated it really liked it
Semper Fido is about Gus Dempsey, a corporal, and his new mine detector dog, Loki, a sergeant. However, Loki is not the serious, well-trained dog he's suppose to be, but instead acts like a loving pet. This story takes place during the War in Afghanistan, around 2007. A conflict in the story is when Dempsey meets Loki for the first time, Loki is very stubborn and disobeys all orders from Dempsey. However, this was solved by Dempsey doing the "alpha roll" to Loki to show who was in charge, along ...more
Nicholas Romash
Oct 19, 2013 Nicholas Romash rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It related to me in so many ways. Plus it's about dogs mixed with some suspense and action. This book was about a guy named Gus who wanted to be a dog handler in the marine corps. So as the story went on he met his partner Loki. Loki was a black playful lab that has been in the marine corps for years. So this book made me relate because I have a dog that acts like Loki, but she is not a bomb sniffing dog. Also this book is about the recent war in Afghanistan. I loved this book ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
May 28, 2013 Elissa Schaeffer rated it really liked it
Very good! The voice of the main character related the events to the reader and it included lots of explanation in the first few chapters and made the military world very accessible.

The adventures of Gus and Loki are smartly told, from the first half where Gus trains for and meets Loki to the their time in Afghanistan. London did a great job with relating information about the war without getting too graphic. It is a story of war, and they face dangerous situations and not everyone makes it. Ho
Karen S.
Jan 18, 2015 Karen S. rated it really liked it
This book was put in my inbox at school anonymously so I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't think I was going to like it as I'm not usually one to read war stories. In reality, I enjoyed it. It gave me a different perspective of war and more of an appreciation for our young men, women and dogs who serve our country--who sometimes give the ultimate sacrifice. This book was first in a series; I'll probably read the next one too.
Feb 23, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
I picked up this book as it was recommended to me by a teacher, who thought I should try it and, if I liked it, pass it on to my step-son. Semper Fido is about Gus Dempsey, a corporal in the US Marine Corps, and his new mine detector dog, Loki, a sergeant (therefore outranking his handler). Loki fails to meet Gus' expectations - Loki is not the serious, well-trained dog he's suppose to be, but instead acts like a loving pet. Loki expects to sleep on the bed, play all the time, and get love and p ...more
Jul 20, 2014 Shirley rated it it was amazing
This is exactly what I've been wanting for our school library. It's a story about a marine and his service dog minus the "colorful language" that is typical to servicemen in war zones. I was captivated from the first page. Though it is a work of fiction, it reads like reality.

Part of the realism came from C. Alexander London's, use of military acronyms. I have heard IED used repeatedly on the news but didn't know it stood for improvised explosive device. I also was unaware that these bombs were
Apr 14, 2014 Logan added it
Best Friends For Life
Have you ever read the book Dog Tags Semper Fido, by Alexander London? The copyright date is 2012. The theme of this book is to try all different friendships with all different animal and humans. The characters in this book is Loki, Dempsey, Chang, Douglass, and Sergeant Gaffley.
This book start out as Dempsey as a little kid. His father was in the military, but one time his father did not come home from Afghanistan. So, he set out to find his father. As this is happening
Mel Mollick
One of my students loaned me this book because he wanted me to read it. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down! I finished within three days.
Dec 30, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
This is the story of US Marine Gus Dempsey and his bomb sniffing dog, Loki. They are deployed to Afghanistan to help troops there. Gus and Loki have a hard time working together and trusting each other. They learn to work together and love each other. I really liked this book. It is a great story.
Ishan Chadha
Jul 13, 2013 Ishan Chadha rated it it was amazing
really good book with a lot of action. it has a lot of adventure. i would recommend this to people who like army books and action and dogs.
Sep 24, 2013 Lucas rated it it was amazing
I wish I could rate it up to 100 stars :)
May 08, 2014 Luisa rated it really liked it
Gus Dempsey is a marine canine handler assigned a dog named Loki, a trickster like his namesake. Loki’s previous handler, Eliopulos, had died saving Loki, and Dempsey is deployed to Outpost Eliopolus, to marines who knew Loki already. Awkward socially, Gus keeps quiet and takes his marine training seriously. He’s eager for action, ready to prove that Loki can detect bombs and save marines’ lives. This is a quick, engaging read. Gus stumbles through interactions, unsure of what to say, but he can ...more
{My Thoughts} - Gus Dempsey joins the US Marine Corps. despite the fact his mother isn’t okay with it. It has a lot to do with his dad had been in the military and when he had come back home from fighting he and his mom fought a lot and then one day his dad just left, didn’t even say good-bye. His mom seemed to think that Gus was going to do the same thing that his dad had done or worse die in action and she wasn’t able to deal with those thoughts so she more or less resented his choices.

Gus had
Jun 19, 2014 Ethan rated it it was amazing
I like this book because it was talking about the military and it was talking about dogs. I love dogs and I like the military or talking about how man's best friend goes to war. Corporal Dempsey and Gus the military dog are working together in Afghanistan .Loki was sniffing out traps and booby traps so they wouldn't hurt the Marines or themselves themselves. I am 11 years old and I recommend this book to kids my age.
Noah P
Dec 03, 2012 Noah P rated it it was amazing
Dog tags is a thrilling adventure novel about Gus Dempsey and his IDD, (IED Detector Dog) Loki. It is a true story about the duo in Afghanistan, searching for IED’s that terrorists make. C. Alexander London is a very good writer, and even better at making very vivid descriptions. London makes descriptions that stick in the readers head for a long time.
When Loki jumps out of his cage, Gus knows he will be the perfect dog for him, but Loki is more playful than the veteran dog he is supposed to b
Garrett Escandel
Sep 22, 2015 Garrett Escandel rated it liked it
This book as 300 papages.this book basically explains how it is in the military. after the first 2 paragraphs it tells a story about a sergeant named David Richards and his dog and they go to war on the same field that his dad went to war on. when they start to dig there trench, David finds his dads dog tag. after that he starts to focus more in the war.
Paper Clippers
Man's best friend goes to war.

When Gus Dempsey joins the US Marine Corps, he knows without a doubt that he will make a great dog handler. He's always been good with dogs. In fact, he's often better with dogs than he is with people.
The above is the summary provided by Goodreads.
Dec 20, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it
This is a great juvenile fiction piece portraying the life of a working dog in the USMC. The author describes the training process, following the dog abs his handler through a deployment in Afghanistan. I highly recommend, especially for dog lovers.
Jan 21, 2014 Megan rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I mean LOVED it! I couldn't put it down. (Spoiler alert) I was so sad when Chang died though! I ran around my school actually screaming NOOOOO!!! CHANG WHY?!?
Sadly the real life inspiration is like Loki and his old partner. The man was shot dead and the dog crawled on top of him to reduce more damage. Sadly the man died and the family adopted him in reminder of their son.
David prieto
This book called dogs tags show what relation ship a dog a soldier have to go throughin war.A dog called loki and his owner have gotten each other out oftrouble.Thus book is this best example of mans best friend.
Hunza Malik
Aug 26, 2015 Hunza Malik rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book for 6-8 graders.Dempsey who's a Marine and he wants to be a dog handler for the Marine Corps and he gets a opportunity to be one,then they both have a awesome adventure together.....
Jun 18, 2014 Faith rated it it was amazing
I loved it ssoo much!! I want to read all of the other ones because of this! Very well written, and it gives you a small look on what it's like to be in the army as a dog handler.
Matt R
Nov 14, 2014 Matt R rated it it was amazing
Sepmer Fido was full of adventure and excitement. Gus and Loki had a great bond and saved each other many times. I would definitely recommend tho book to someone
Nov 12, 2014 Max rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Very suspenseful. This is a first book in a series of books. This series is about dogs and there owners going to war.
Kathleen Gear
Feb 25, 2014 Kathleen Gear rated it it was amazing
I don't care how old you are, if you enjoy beautifully told stories about the love between human beings and dogs, you'll love this story.
Sep 09, 2014 Glen rated it really liked it
I thought it was a great book anyone that likes books about war then you should read this
Dj Devore
Mar 21, 2014 Dj Devore rated it it was amazing
Another great book about an army soldier and his very loyal dog.
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