“The Tortoise and the Soldier”


This excellent new book by Michael Foreman is based on the author’s friendship with Henry Friston.  At the age of 18, Henry enlisted in the Royal Navy just as World War I began.  He and his shipmates saw action in Egypt, specifically near the Suez Canal.  They performed a number of duties from digging trenches, to being stretcher bearers, to fighting the enemy on land and sea.

During one land battle Henry dove for cover after being knocked off his feet from a bomb blast.  He was frightened, struggling to breathe believing that he was a “goner.”  As he rolled into the crater something hit him on the head.  That something turned out to be a living tortoise.  This encounter begins the story of Henry and the tortoise which he named Ali Pasha.

Michael Foreman met Henry many years later.  Foreman was a cub reporter working for a small newspaper in the English village of Corton.  He interviews Henry for a story for his newspaper.  Little by Little Henry shares with Michael his adventures during the war and his “rescue” of Ali Pasha.

This true story will appeal to a young reader who has an interest in history. It is an inspiring tale of courage and friendship between a young boy and a tortoise.  The watercolor illustrations of soldiers, battle scenes and the book’s settings bring to life the story.9781627791731_p0_v1_s192x300.jpg

One Response to ““The Tortoise and the Soldier””

  1. marybeth Says:

    Lillian, this looks like a great book!

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