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Semper Fido (Dog Tags, #1)
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Semper Fido (Dog Tags #1)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  376 Ratings  ·  76 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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Rebecca McNutt
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog
Semper Fido tones down the brutality of war to make the subject less grisly for kids, but still focuses on many important themes and looks at the situation from a whole new perspective, also inviting readers to look at the life of a trained military dog that has gone overseas.
Ms. Yingling
Oct 16, 2012 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
Nicholas Romash
Oct 19, 2013 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
Terri Floccare
Sep 26, 2015 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.
Sarah McPherson
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome and sad. But te awesome out ways the sad. And that's good.
Lane Nett
Personal Response:
Overall, I enjoyed this book because it is very relatable. In the book he is paired with a dog that he trains, and when I was younger I always got to play with my uncle's coon hounds. The author did a good job at keeping the reader interested throughout the whole book. My favorite part was when Loki saves Gus's life. Overall, I think this is a well written book.

Plot Summary: Gus is a 18 year old boy who sets off to join the marines. He is a normal 18 year old kid wh0 has two do
Quenton Hua
Sep 02, 2013 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
Elissa Schaeffer
May 07, 2013 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 14, 2015 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.
Dec 30, 2013 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 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.
Mel Mollick
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Art by: Minto School library, ND
Semper Fi!
Story of Marine working dog and his handler.
Dog had lost a handler and how this young marine earned the dogs trust and then the trust of the unit that the dog belonged to in Afghanistan.
Importance of having dogs trained w/units in the areas of deployment.
Reminded of "Max", "Sergeant Rex" and"Cracker".
Nolan Chiddix
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the Dog Tags series because it has all of my favorite interests put into a book! It has Military and K-9 dogs that is why i love the series there is 4 books and they are all about how the handlers and the dogs go through their adventures.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-classics
I liked it
Zachary Zsiga
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
I think it wasnt a bad book i loved it, a great relationship with a training dog in any situation is a good thing, aspeshaly for marines.
Ethen Huebner
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
was ok
Evan Gaby
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is a very good book and it got me into the Dog Tag series it is very well enjoyable and keeps you interested and it gives you a good look into the battles of Afghanistan if you are a dog lover and like military books this could be a book for you.
Ryan L
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Do you like to read about war or battles? If so, this is a good book for you. This book is a realistic fiction book called Dog Tags Semper Fido by C. Alexander London. This book has many scary moments that can make you nervous. When Gus Dempsey decides to join the Marines he has to train his dog named Loki. Loki is a well trained dog that has been in battle. He has returned from battle because his previous owner has died in battle. Now Dempsey has to get along with his new dog and things don't g ...more
Turner Crump
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a man that joined the military so he goes to boot camp missing his two dogs at home when he first gets to boot camp he finds himself in a very unpleasant spot.The first part of training is he has to treat a can of nothing like a dog at first he thought the general was joking but nope he was completely serious about the treating the can like a dog and he was very embarrassed but saw all the other men actually treating the cans like dogs.After a hole lot of training the general ...more
Matthew McClanahan
Semper Fido
The authors purpose of writing this book was to inform readers of what war is like and the importance of dogs in war. I say this because most of the book took place in Afghanistan during the Iraq war with Marine Corporal Dempsey and his dog, Sargent Loki. I would also say this is the purpose because war isn’t just straight action it is also slow and long.
The theme is friendship and trust which are very important in war. I say this because if guys don’t trust each other this can go di
{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
Jul 20, 2014 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
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wanted to read about a dog being more than just having a loyal pet? Well now you can, you will read about Gus and Loki’s relationship, both their pasts, their training, and going out into a war zone. In this book, it shows us how your life would be or how your life would be different in the military, as a bomb sniffing team. Dog Tags by C. Alexander London is a kind of adventurous book that I believe is one of my favorite books of all time. The book has a ton of action, and you ge ...more
Apr 14, 2014 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
Feb 23, 2015 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
Noah P
Dec 03, 2012 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
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dog Tags is an amazing series because all of the books have great action and are very inspiring through out the entire book. I reread the first book and will reread all of the other books because the series are so intriguing. I am focusing back to this book, Semper Fido, because it was so action packed when Gus Dempsey's land vehicle blew up when he is in the marine corps. Gus has to then find a way around Afghanistan with his dog and part of his surviving crew so that he can kill and survive ti ...more
May 08, 2014 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
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