Tortoise and the Soldier: A Story of Courage and Friendship in WWI


Book Information

Reader Personality Type
Square Fish (Henry Holt and Co.) 2015
  • Character-Building Curriculum
  • Social Studies Curriculum

As a boy Henry Friston dreamed of seeing the world.  At the age of 14 he took a job as a deckhand on a steam drifter hauling nets and riding the waves of the cold North Sea.  Then, in 1913 he joined the Royal Navy and was sent to work on a battleship.  

His ditty box and wartime diary hold stories of his time at sea and at war.  His ship was sent to Gallipoli and into action.  He and his buddies combed the trenches and the craters looking for the wounded survivors of brutal battles.  For Henry that was life-changing. 

As one mortar shell came in exploding over his head, Henry dove into a hole and discovered a tortoise taking cover alongside him.  This is the story of Henry and Ali Pasha, his tortoise, as they formed a team and endured the hardships of the rest of World War I together.

This is a story of friends, told in a factual tone without an emotional layer. Based on a true story.

Ages 8-12  128 pages  978-1250090515

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,

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