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

4.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,398 Ratings  ·  282 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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2014 Bluestem Nominees
11th out of 20 books — 18 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,242)
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May 04, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for animal stories, especially dog stories, and if it's a homeless dog, well that just tugs on my heartstrings even more.

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'
Nadine Jones
Nov 05, 2010 Nadine Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denice Hein
Mar 19, 2015 Denice Hein rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
1.Darling, Mercy Dog of World War 1 by Alison Hart, 2013.
2.Nubs is a ‘war dog’ of the 21st century while Darling is a mercy dog in the 20th century. The connect on the canine, their owners/handlers and war. Darling is almost a predecessor to Nub in a way. I think the drawings of Darling will compliment the actual photos of Nubs.
3.Nubs is a narrative nonfiction text. There are primary source photos are recreated entries that help sequential story.
4.A Venn Diagram has to be completed about these t
May 19, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Nubs was a dog who lived in the Iraq dessert just outside a fort near the Syrian border. He led a pack of wild dogs who scrounged for rats and mice to eat, and sometimes they were thrown scraps by the Iraqi soldiers who were stationed at the fort. Nubs had been abused—his ears were cut off and he had never known affection. But when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis, Nubs’ life began to change. This beautifully written, story of love, loyalty, kindness and friendship will touch your heart. Photos ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Lydia.walker rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 23, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
This book simultaneously broke my heart and restored my faith in humanity. A dog that likely never experienced love or caring first hand becomes attached to an American Marine in war torn Iraq. Despite all odds--war, brutal winter, and hundreds of miles--Nubs followed Brian Dennis and was ultimately rescued and brought to the US where he now lives comfortably with Dennis. A quick, easy read, but one that will undoubtedly make you tear up.
H.L. Balcomb
Apr 08, 2015 H.L. Balcomb rated it it was amazing
What does it mean to believe without doubt? Last night, my oldest child pulled out her library book, and we read it before bedtime. The book entitled NUBS is a true story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle. The mutt, fondly named Nubs since he's ears were cut off as a sign of being a war dog, instantly found a friend in Major Brian Dennis. Here's where the story becomes amazing -- Nubs would not give up on his friendship with the Major even though it meant following him through a treacherous 70- ...more
Julie Hafner
Oct 01, 2015 Julie Hafner rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-538
Dog lover or not, this story will move you! It is a roller coaster ride of emotion. You cheer for the literal underdog, Nubs, as he wanders aimlessly in war torn Iraq and befriends Major Brian Dennis. Their reunions are brief and always end with separation. Until Nubs takes matters into his own "paws" and follows the humvee trucks 70 miles, in bad weather, with little food, in search of his loyal friend Brian. The troops are in awe of Nubs' gritty determination but he can't stay on the base. Wha ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Alice rated it really liked it
I live with a cat...from this experience...I have discovered I am a dog person. This is the true story of Nubs...and dog who found his marines and his journey to the US. Great story that tugs at the heartstrings!
Melissa Kasso
Jul 27, 2015 Melissa Kasso rated it it was amazing
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
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
Nubs was a nice, true, and uplifting story about a feral dog from Iraq that found a home in the United States. In October 2007, Border Transition Team 3/5/2 arrived at the border of Iraq and Syria. The team members were greeted by a pack of wild dogs, whose leader became known as "Nubs" because of his docked ears. He developed a bond with Dennis, and as the troops would come and go over the course of several weeks, they were always greeted by the dogs. Nubs exhibited signs of malnutrition and ab ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it
Amazing story of a military dog in Iraq. Man's best friend!
Nov 12, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing
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!

Heidi Garner
Apr 15, 2014 Heidi Garner rated it it was amazing
"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
Jun 04, 2012 Krystal Spilger rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 29, 2014 Lisa Hartmann rated it it was amazing
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
Laura Mueller
Apr 21, 2015 Laura Mueller rated it it was amazing
Laura Mueller
March 14, 2015
EDL53500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

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

Author: Major Brian Dennis

Plot: Brian Dennis is a marine serving in Iraq and he meets a pack of stray dogs. He becomes attached to one and names him "Nubs" because his ears are cut off leaving only nubs. The rules are no dogs allowed on base and Brian moves around a lot with his company, so he has to say goodbye to Nubs many times. However, he always seems to
Mar 01, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll539
Bring the tissues! This is incredible picture book but with tons of content. Another book, along with Marley, that is based on a true story. A story about a "war dog" that encounters some marines in Iraq. Major Brian Dennis shares his meals with this stray dog and the dog keeps coming back for more. Nubs gets his name because he has nubs instead of ears. He probably had them blown off because he lived in a war zone. As their friendship begins, Dennis sometimes has to leave the base. My eyes well ...more
Jan 11, 2010 Heloyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
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
Jan 26, 2013 Dana Wilkes rated it it was amazing
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!
Mar 26, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 15, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing
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 liked it
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?
May 02, 2013 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
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."
Jun 19, 2011 Addy rated it really liked it
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
Jun 03, 2012 Wendy Loewenstein rated it really liked it
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
Shante' Polite
Title: Nubs
Author: Marine & a Miracle
Publisher and Date: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009

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

Classroom Incorporation:
In gra
Haily Kokinakis
Feb 24, 2014 Haily Kokinakis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: february
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
Kaitlyn Tankersley
This would be a great book to read to students during labor day holidays or veterans day. 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 In grades K-3, when talking about loyalty an ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Dec 26, 2013 Vernon Area Public Library KIDS rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
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
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