The Tortoise and the Soldier: A Story of Courage and Friendship in World War I by Michael Foreman
This illustrated chapter book is based on the true story of Englishman Henry Friston, who served in World War I as a gunner on a battleship. During the Battle of Gallipoli, a tortoise was literally blown up and landed in a crater where Henry was taking shelter from bombing. Henry at first left the creature, then went back for him. He kept the tortoise throughout the war, naming him Ali Pasha, and then took him home with him. Ali Pasha lived a grand life with his new friend and was over 100 years old when he passed away. This is both a story of the bond between human and companion animal and a history book of World War I, particularly the naval troops who fought on the Turkish coast. The author knew Henry and Ali Pasha as a young boy and the book also describes Henry’s experiences before and after the war. It also includes photos of Henry and Ali Pasha.