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Dogs on Duty Wins 2013 Mitten Award

2013 Mitten Award Winner Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce that Dogs on Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, published 2012 by Scholastic, is the winner of the 2013 Mitten Award. Presentation of the award will take place at the Spring Institute 2014 Conference in Battle Creek, March 27-28, 2014.

When the news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound broke, the SEAL team member that stole the show was a highly trained canine companion. Throughout history, dogs have been key contributors to military units. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent follows man’s best friend onto the battlefield, showing readers why dogs are uniquely qualified for the job at hand, how they are trained, how they contribute to missions, and what happens when they retire. With full-color photographs throughout and sidebars featuring heroic canines throughout history, Dogs on Duty provides a fascinating look at these exceptional soldiers and companions.

Dogs on Duty has been chosen for several lists, including ALA Notable Children’s Books, CBC Best Children’s Books of the Year and the IRA Teachers’ Choices Reading List. It’s also nominated for state awards in NY, ND, and RI.

Patent is an author and teacher who began writing for children in 1972. She has published more than 130 books on a wide range of science and nature topics for both children and adults.

“While it was a difficult book to write in some ways, I focused my energy and attention on the fact that the most important job of these dogs is to save lives, not only the lives of their handlers and other members of the patrol but also of innocent civilians who share the roads and pathways of countries like Afghanistan with the military,” noted Patent

“The dogs do more that carry out their duties—they also provide the fighting forces with a special presence of love, loyalty, and playfulness that helps relieve the stress of war and remind the soldiers that there’s more to life than fighting, dust, and danger.”

This year’s honor books include:

  • Snakes by Nic Bishop, published 2012 by Scholastic
  • Liar And Spy by Rebecca Stead, published 2012 by Wendy Lamb Books
  • The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand, published 2012 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

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