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Bel Ria: Dog of War
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Bel Ria: Dog of War

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Sheila Burnford, the author of The Incredible Journey, offers the spellbinding tale of a small dog caught up in the Second World War, and of the extraordinary life-transforming attachments he forms with the people he encounters in the course of a perilous passage from occupied France to besieged England.

Nameless, Burnford’s hero first turns up as a performing dog, a poodle
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by NYR Children's Collection (first published 1977)
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Aug 12, 2015 marked it as wishlist-f  ·  review of another edition
This link shows how the cover should look:, not as it is shown here on GR! The proper cover looks just like my Welsh Terrier, Victor, so of course I had to read the book. Bel Ria: Dog of War and the well-known The Incredible Journey are by the same author.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books. My mother sent it to me in college as part of a "care package". I've read it many times. It is a touching portrayal of how animals can affect our lives. When my daughter was in college I sent her a copy of this book in a "care package" as well.
Sally Fouhse
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
My dad sobbed as he finished this book! What a softy (me too.)
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book authored by Sheila Burnford and brought to life again by The New York Review Children's Collection. She is the author of "The Incredible Journey" that was made into a heart-warming, live-action movie by Disney in 1961.

This book will capture your heart and will bring you to tears as you experience the life of an innocent little dog during the Second World War. He travels as part of a gypsy band with an older couple, a pet monkey and a decrepit donkey, entertaining anyone
Jed Mayer
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely devastating book, with genuine insight into the complex relationship betweens and animals: I can't remember when I've cried this much while reading a book!
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A really great story. If you like dogs, you will enjoy it. Although set during WWII, the entire focus is on the dog and his trials and tribulations during wartime, his intense relationship with various characters and how his smarts and survival instincts shine through to lead a full, happy life.

The book starts out in a somewhat state of confusion, but as I read on it became clear that was the setting at that moment in time.

You will not find a lot of focus on the details of this historical time p
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
A small dog trained to dance in a traveling circus is rescued from the German Air Raids over Franc. British corporal Sinclair brings the dog onto the destroyer with him but is in turn injured. The dog is now left to Neil MacLean, a sick berth attendant on the British destroyer Tertian.
The dog passes through more disasters even surviving another air raid on land before reuniting with Sinclair who had first rescued the dog 5 years previously. This story is one of persistence against the bitter b
Sharon Clousing
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book, especially for dog lovers.

It was great to follow some of the events of WWII through the life of a wee dog and the people by whom he was rescued, and others who he revived by being part of their lives.
Michael Pillarella
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story! Set during WWII Bel Ria manages to connect the lives of everyone he meets. The characters are vastly different but bonds are developed between them as they have all been saved in one way or another by their miraculous companion.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, cried the last 50 pages.
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book
Gena Lott
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I have always loved dog stories and can never turn down a good one! This is set in World War II France and is a great addition to the animal book genre.
Uncle Jim
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it
A lovely well written story that I really enjoyed. Glad to have discovered it after all these years.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Reader interested in WW stories involving animals
Recommended to Lily by: New York Review, Children's Collection
Shelves: youth, war, gift
I am perhaps gentler in rating children's books than adult ones, but this one bridged the gap. In a period of having read a few WW stories (All the Light We Cannot See, The Book Thief, The Nightingale, among others), I am intrigued by the quality of the writing (the sentences, the paragraphs, the imagination of the story....) and the endearing qualities of the animals in this story, as devastated as their human counterparts by the ravages of war.

I bought this as a gift, attracted to it by its pr
Stephanie A.
The dedication at the font of this book is simple but powerful: In Memoriam, 1939-1945. This is very much the story of how a little French Romani dog dodges catastrophes to survive from the onset of WWII until it's over, but it's also very much a story of war. Not necessarily in the thick of its action, but in commentary about its devastating effects and how it impacts the lives of European soldiers and civilians alike. The message is ultimately a hopeful one, but boy, there is a lot of gut-wren ...more
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you like books about animals, just read this.

It is about a tiny mutt who survives WWII despite constantly being in the worst place at the worst time. And everyone adores him.

Okay just read it.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it
my mother read this to my brother and me back in the 70's. I don't remember much, but I always enjoyed being read to...
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Anyone who likes dog books will enjoy this tale.
Gnoe Graasland
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jeugdsentiment, 1980
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margaret Boehm
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Charming and heart warming. Good Read
K. Morral
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story following the life of a dog in the aftermaths of the Dunkirk evacuations. It tracks his impact on the lives of those who take the responsibility of caring for him. Warning now, if you are sentimental you will need tissues by chapter 3, if you are not sentimental I would still hold the tissues handy.

Torn from a travelling life performing with a gypsy caravan with the death, a little dog attaches himself to a friendly soldier who manages to get him onto a rescue vessel.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting story of the life of a little dog.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book, lots of sadness in it though!
Diane Wachter
Feb 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii, juvenile
Bel Ria: Dog of War, Sheila Burnford, Fiction, Story about an unnamed dog traveling from occupied France during WWII, fleeing from the Nazi's and escaping to England during the Blitz, and the lives he touches along the way. Good.
Lee  W Adams
A great dog story...I read it while visiting friends. Takes place in France and England during World War II. Keep tissues handy.
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
There is nothing exeptional about it,Shows a dogs resilience.Its survival instincts..good for casual reading.
Rom John Prado
rated it really liked it
Dec 27, 2011
Francina Du Plessis
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2013
Marian Mertes
rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2016
Helene Clarke
rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2012
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Sheila Philip Cochrane Burnford, née Every, (11 May 1918 – 20 April 1984) was an English novelist.

Born in Scotland but brought up in various parts of the United Kingdom, she attended St. George's School, Edinburgh and Harrogate Ladies College. In 1941 she married Doctor David Burnford, with whom she had three children. During World War II she worked as a volunteer ambulance driver. In 1951 she emi
More about Sheila Burnford...

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