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Children's LiteratureThe setting is Italy during WWII. The British troops have entered the town and taken it without a fight. The Germans have fled, but the big problem is that a bombing raid is scheduled. A lot of innocent people will die. The radio is broken, so they can't get a message back to stop the bombing. Then, they remember that they have a homing pigeon named G. I. Joe. A message is attached and the pigeon is set aloft. It braves German gunfire, bad weather and a hungry hawk. Just in time it arrives at the airbase to stop the bombing raid. Based upon a true story, kids learn than G. I. Joe was given a medal and went to live in the Detroit zoo. An endnote explains a little more about how pigeons were used during the war. It is a good story, the illustrations are appropriate, but early readers will know little about WWII so caregivers and teachers may need to help set the stage for them to fully understand the story. But the basic tale of the pigeons bravery is easily understood. A Level 2 book in the "Ready-To-Read" series. 2003, Aladdin/Simon & Schuster, Ages 5 to 7.
— Marilyn Courtot