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Ready to Read Level 2
by Shirley Raye Redmond
In a town in Italy during World War II the people surrendered without firing a shot. But American warplanes are due to arrive, and the radio’s broken, so no one can tell them to call off the attack! G. I. Joe, a carrier pigeon, is the only one who can take the message to the Americans. Will he make it in time to save the town?
The story of G.I. Joe is told in kid-friendly language and focuses on G.I. Joe’s dangerous flight. Despite the difficulties, G.I. Joe is able to deliver his message and then return. When he returns, “Joe carried a new message. The planes would not come! The town was safe.” Readers will enjoy seeing G.I. Joe complete his mission and be rewarded with a medal.
As part of the Ready-To-Read Level 2 Series, Pigeon Hero! is intended for children who can read independently. The story is told using short chapters. Each page has four to seven sentences of various lengths; however, most sentences are short. G.I. Joe’s story has a complex plot that takes place in different locations. Each page has a full-colored illustration that will help readers visualize the story’s events. Several pages show German soldiers firing machine guns at G.I. Joe. Towards the end, two pages focus on the joy the townspeople feel when G.I. Joe returns with a new message.
Readers who are interested in animals or war will find the story of G.I. Joe interesting. The short story highlights G.I. Joe’s bravery as he overcomes obstacles to deliver the message. G.I. Joe’s ability to save the day will leave readers with a smile. Plus, the last page of the book gives more information about the amazing things that war pigeons were able to do. Children interested in birds may want to take a step into the past by reading Ancient Animals: Terror Bird by Sarah L. Thomson. However, if you’re looking for a more motivational story, Bird Boy by Matthew Burgess would be a better choice.
- British soldiers plan to have a big battle with the Germans. But when the soldiers arrive, the Germans flee. Several soldiers are shown with their weapons.
- German soldiers try to shoot G.I. Joe. “G.I. Joe heard machine gun fire. The enemy below was shooting at him!”
- A hawk tries to eat G.I. Joe.
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