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Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  1,119 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Nubs, an Iraqi dog of war, never had a home or a person of his own. He was the leader of a pack of wild dogs living off the land and barely surviving. But Nubs's life changed when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis.
The two formed a fast friendship, made stronger by Dennis's willingness to share his meals, offer a warm place to sleep, and give Nubs the kind of care and attent
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published July 10th 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Nadine Jones
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Story of Nubs is a nonfiction piece that tells the story of two strangers destined to be together. Nubs, a mangy and injured pack dog, and Major Brian Dennis, a US Marine in the Iraqi desert. You learn the story of their first encounter, of the 30-degree nights, and of the heart wrenching 70-mile trek that Nubs took in tracking Brian across the frozen Iraqi desert. We learn of the pancakes Nubs ate, and the doghouse built for him by his marines. Then, we hear the heartbreaking news that Bria ...more
Melissa Kasso
I heard this story a few years ago and liked it okay. This week my fourth grade students have been learning about Veterans Day and I remembered this book. While the author and main character isn't a "veteran" yet, he is a Marine, so I decided to include this book in our reading this week. My class was fascinated, both the boys and girls. By the end of the reading, a handful of kiddos had tears streaming down their faces. I don't know what the difference was...maybe just the fact that we (as a cl ...more
This amazing true story is set in a land struck with war. This story tells of the friendship between two unlikely friends, who were not allowed to call each other their own. Nubs a stray dog with no ears, and a Marine overseas, form a friendship unlike any other. Their friendship has many struggles, amazing triumphs and lessons that show true love and compassion! This true story will touch your heart and remind you of the love you have for family, friends, and your furry friends!

I'm a sucker for animal stories, especially dog stories, and if it's a homeless dog, well that just tugs on my heartstrings.

This beautiful story has it all. Homeless, hungry, and frightened dog living with a pack of other homeless dogs in the Iraqi desert finds love, comfort, and safety with Marine Major Brian Dennis and the men under his command. But when they have to move out for Jordan, Nubs (so named by Dennis because his ears had been cut off) is left behind because Marines aren't allowed
Heidi Garner
"Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle" is a nonfiction story about a US Marine in Iraq who befriends a wild dog, whom he names Nubs. This unlikely pair become fast friends and when Major Brian Dennis has to leave Nubs behind he is heart broken. We learn about the pain, 30 degree nights and 70 mile trek that brought these two together indefinitely. Eventually Major Brian Dennis raises enough money to send Nubs to his home in California and they are reunited a few months after.

Krystal Spilger
Audience: K-3 grades teachers and students.
Appeal: All animal lovers will enjoy this story. Nubs is a wild dog that follows a marine from Iraq to Jordan in the middle of a war. Due to the fact that soldiers are not allowed to have animals Brian, the marine that takes care of Nubs, sends Nubs to live in the United States with his family. This nonfiction story depicts the loyality of dogs and the relationship that develops between people and dogs.

(Golden Sower 2012-2013)
Lisa Hartmann
Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt,a Marine & a Miracle by Brain Dennis. I love this non fiction story! A marine is in Iraq serving our county and meets a lifetime friend. While on base he meets a dog that has had his ears cut of, hence the name Nubs. Brain the marine, offers food and a warm place to sleep. Marines aren't allowed to have dogs but they had made a special connection. Brian had to leave him several times and Nubs always tried to follow. The last time Brain left Nubs traveled 70 mil ...more
Every since I was a girl reading Lassie Come Home I have had a soft spot in my heart for a dog who finds a way to become a loyal friend. This story recently caught my attention and while it is not as dramatic, it is certainly a tale of devotion on the dog's part as well as his friend, a U.S. Marine in Iraq. True story, true friendship.
Dana Wilkes
It's difficult to find a good, short read-aloud book for mid-elementary students, so I was elated to find this gem of a true story about a US Marine and the dog he rescued in Iraq. Engaging pictures, a beautiful story of devotion and friendship - you will love it as much as the kids will!
This is such a touching story that I just know my students (dog fans) will adore! I think this true story of an Iraqi dog of war is an insight into the War of Iraq, and also illustrates the power of friendship.
This book was nominated for the 2011 Colorado Children's Book Award.
I am a sucker for animal rescue stories and this one is fabulous! A stray dog in Iraq adopts a soldier and they are bonded for life. From the same author of Two Bobbies: A True story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival - another one of my favorites!
Feb 25, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a heartwarming story about a dog who adopted a Marine and found his way from Iraq to America. It's a fairly lengthy tale for a children's book and younger children may become bored by it. But otherwise, it's a good story and who doesn't love a happy ending?
This one made me emotional. Nubs had such a difficult journey to find his safe and forever home. I'd recommend this but you might choke up while reading it. It makes me wish dogs could live as long as humans. Nubs deserves a really long and happy life.
Golden Sower Primary Award Winner - I had not read this one and I cried through the entire book! Do not miss this heart wrenching story with an amazing ending. This will be another book referred to at LV as "one that Mrs. S can't talk about without crying."
I read this book last year and I didn't realize it was by Kirby Larson:-) My goal is to read all of Kirby Larson's books because she is my favorite author who writes my favorite gaunra-type and is very good at it! Very sweet story,btw!
Wendy Loewenstein
Audience: K-6th graders, dog lovers, war story and nonfiction fans
Appeal: True story of a soldier and a dog photographs of real events make this an engaging read and a different perspective of war.

12-13 golden sower nominee
Haily Kokinakis
I read this book in my children's literature class and I had to stop myself from crying in front of everybody! This book is truly heartwarming and touches you. The story follows a dog that loyally goes wherever his friend goes. He walks all the way from Iraq to Jordan to be reunited with his new best friend. This really is a story about man's best friend and this friend comes in the form of a mutt named Nubs. I enjoyed this story and want to find a copy for myself! I would gladly read this out l ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
This was a very heart-warming book about solider Brian Dennis and his new-found friend, a dog he named Nubs. Nubs was a shy dog whose ears had been cut off to make him a dog of war. Nubs, and the rest of the pack of wild dogs lived at an abandoned border fort. Brian gave Nubs some of his food rations and lots of belly rubs. But eventually it was time to pull out. Each time Brian returned, Nubs was there to greet him. But Marines were not allowed to keep dogs as pets, so each time they left again ...more
Major Brian Dennis was on tour in Iraq when he came across a pack of war dogs. One in particular caught Brian's attention. This pup was starving, his ears had been cut off, and he had no owner. Brian grew attached to the dog, and nicknamed him Nubs. Nubs slowly became Brian's companion, and as they shared food and lots of pets, Brian fell in love.

But military rules don't allow pets. So Brian worked with his friends and family to raise enough money to send Nubs to America, where they were reunite
Such a heart warming story.
LaDene Mayville
A heartwarming and touching true story of a Marine serving in Iraq who was found by this abused and lonely dog, Nubs. He was named nubs because it appears that someone tried cutting off the dogs' ears. The Marine had to leave the dog behind when his unit moved 70 miles away. Astonishingly, this dog found his way to the new camp and reunited himself with his favorite Marine.
One cannot help but be touched by this wonderful story of determination and friendship. I would highly recommend it to anyon
Gail Cooke
Here is a true story that will make you smile, warm your heart, and again remind you of the indefatigable power of love. Yes, even in war love overcomes.

Today he is known by thousands but not too long ago a scraggly, skinny mutt barely survived on the desert. "His ears had been cut off to make him a dog of war." He was the leader off a pack of wild dogs, and had no name. And then one day a trio of military vehicles carrying Major Brian Dennis and his ten marines arrived at the desert fort. The
Eva Leger
The story alone deserves ten stars. These men and women in the military are all heroes to me but the animal lovers among them who are overseas are even more so. I can't fathom having to leave a dog like Nubs because the military won't allow pets. I can understand pets get in the way, I can understand the thought process of not wanting the dog (or other animal) to take time and attention away from the matters at hand, you can even go out on a limb and say if that's allowed what about bringing a p ...more
Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery

I saw Brian and Nubs on a late night talk show last Nov and was moved to tears about this story, so was able to get in contact with Kirby to get my own review copy, which came today. I read it to my 9 year old granddaughter Violet, who had heard about the book. She loved it, as did I, sobbing as I read this most miraculous and courageous true story.

Major Brian Dennis, a Marine stationed
Read Aloud: As a dog lover, Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle is one of my favorite children's books. Nubs is an amazing dog, whose best friend is a hero. Author, Major Brian Dennis is is a compassionate marine who finds Nubs in a pack of wild dogs, while stationed in Western Iraq. Before Major Dennis found him, Nubs's ears were cut off to make him more equipped as a war dog. He was left with only small nubs on the top of his head, thus giving him his unique name. As Major ...more
Holly Williams
Jun 05, 2013 Holly Williams added it
Shelves: primary
Audience: Primary

Genre: Informational

Pre-Reading Strategy: Think-Pair-Share

Before reading Nubs, I would use a think-pair-share activity to get the students thinking about the story and allow them to collaborate with a partner on a specific question. I would first explain the strategy to the students and why it is helpful. I would explain that the think-pair-share strategy helps the students to first think about a question on their own, and then to collaborate with a partner and bring their ideas
Katie Weinert
Jun 06, 2013 Katie Weinert added it
Shelves: primary
Audience) Primary
Genre) Biography

A)Directed Reading - Thinking Activity would involve first letting the children get ahold of the book themselves and skimming thought the pictures and the text to get an idea and make predictions about what the book holds. Following this we would begin reading the story stopping at a breaking point created by me. At this time we would discuss what has happened in the story and compare it to the predictions that they made. After the discussion continue to read, f
Jayme Prisbell
The 2012-2013 Nebraska Golden Sower Nominee, Nubs The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, & a Miracle, written by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson, and Mary Nethery, is a heartfelt non-fiction story of the friendship between a dog and a human. This book is geared toward elementary school children in grades 2-5 and provides the reader with a story of heroism and loyalty. Nubs is a starving Iraqi war dog who is struggling to remain the pack leader of his wild dog pack. He meets Major Brian Dennis ...more
Nubs, an Iraqui wardog, never had an owner to call his own. When a marine, Brian Dennis, met Nubs, they created a wonderful friendship. Nubs however; did not know that the marines couldn't have pets. Brian did something that would melt the heart of any animal lover!

Reading Level: 3rd-5th grade

Genre: Informational Picture Book

Topics: Dogs, Military & War

Use: Guided Reading

Social Issues: War, Companionship, Saving Animals

LIterary Elements: This book shows sequence of events very well. The stor
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