C. Alexander London

Dog Tags

Semper Fido

If your school participates in Scholastic Book Clubs or Scholastic Book Fairs, you can pick up the first two books in my brand new series, DOG TAGS months before anyone else can get them in stores. 
Here's what they're about:

When Gus Dempsey joins the US Marine Corps, he knows without a doubt that he will make a great dog handler. He’s always been good with dogs. In fact, he’s often better with dogs than he is with people. But Loki is not the dog that Gus was expecting. Fun-loving and playful, Loki acts more like a pet than the well-trained, bomb-sniffing Marine that he’s supposed to be. But when Gus and Loki deploy to Afghanistan, they have no choice but to learn to work together. Because in war, getting along is a matter of life and death. 
Book 2: STRAYS
How far would you go to save a life? Chuck and Ajax are partners, and they’re good at their job. Chuck leads Ajax through the jungles of Vietnam, and Ajax sniffs out hidden, deadly traps before they can hurt US soldiers. The war is almost over now, and the Army is grateful for Chuck’s service. They want to give him a medal. But their plans for Ajax are less noble. Suddenly, Chuck is forced to answer two impossible questions: Is his loyalty to Ajax or to the US Army? And just how far is he willing to go to protect his partner?

I hope you like 'em!
AN UPDATE: You can pre-order SEMPER FIDO wherever books are sold. It will be in stores in May!


Do you know the lexile level for this book? I already completed the form on Lexile.com to contact the publisher. Below is what they recommend.

"The best thing you can do to speed up your request is to contact the publisher regarding your book. Since ultimately the publisher must submit a book to receive a Lexile measure, contacting the publisher improves the chances of the book you requested being added to our list of measures."

Thank you.

Re: Lexile

I do not know the Lexile number for the Dog Tags books, as I write them without leveling in mind. I just try to tell a story that would be of interest to young readers in a clear, exciting and accessible way. If you'd like the publisher to submit a request, the Dog Tags series is published by Scholastic Books. You can contact them here: http://www.scholastic.com/custsupport/contact_us.htm

Hope that helps. Happy reading!

i need to reed more books i

i need to reed more books i loved book 1 and 2 pleases relese more books:)

naamjot age12

Dog tags seems to be interesting

Dog tags seems to be interesting and I love reading such stories. I have read a few books on dog involving stories and they all have been likable enough. Lets see what this book offers.

AR Reading

Is this book on the AR reading list?

re: AR Reading

I don't know if it is or is not. I just write the books; I don't have any connection to the AR lists. I do hope you enjoy the story though!

We use Scholastic Reading

We use Scholastic Reading Counts at our school, and I was disappointed to see that there is no quiz for "Dog Tags" yet. We will keep checking!

Love this series!

I can't wait until you write more Dog Tags books. I'm almost done with the first one. I'll finish the second one pretty quickly. Then I'll be waiting for you to write another. Please hurry!

Jacob, age 9

Re: Love this series!

Thanks, Jacob. I wrote it for people just like you! I'm working on the 4th book now, in fact!


When will these books be available to purchase not through a Scholastic book club?

Re: Availability

You'll be able to get the first two Dog Tags books through regular booksellers in May.


Just received our Book Fair flyer, the 2 pack special is highlighted in there. My son really wants them! They are listed in the Advanced Readers section. It doesn't provide a Lexile score for them though. Wondering how many pages they are.

Re: Scholastic

They do not yet have a Lexile score (I have no influence or control over that...actually, I'm skeptical of all those reading scores) but I can try to be of help. The books are each about 200 pages (with pretty big type/lots of white space). I think they're action packed enough for reluctant readers with enough complexity to keep more advanced readers engaged too. Then again, I am biased...I think everyone should read them! :)



Excited for more!

My son, 10 years old, loves to read but never finds anything he really loves except Calviin & Hobbes and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, go figure! He seems to have had some interest in the military, and then when he saw your book cover with the German Shepherd, he had to have it. We had a Shepherd that passed away a few years ago and he guarded my son with his life.
My son, Andrew, is reading your second book and I'm so happy that he is reading something different and new. He has opened up a dialogue about issues in your books and it has been a real joy to talk to him.
Thank you. We are excited to read more in this series of books.

A Happy Mom:)

Re: Excited for more!

Thank you so much for this note. When I was 10, I was just like your son--didn't love to read, but devoured Calvin and Hobbes! In fact, the main characters of my Accidental Adventures series probably get a lot of their sense of humor from all the time I spent reading Calvin and Hobbes.

As to the Dog Tags books, I am so happy he's enjoying them and that they're making him think. It warms this author's heart to know the stories I tell are making an impact.

Also, let him know the main character in the 4th Dog Tags book, which comes out in the spring, is named Andrew too!

Ordering book

My son bought the set with the dog tag at a book fair. He has lost his dog tag. Is there a way to get a replacement dog tag? Alternately, is there a way now to purchase the same set with the dog tag now that the book fair is gone? Thank you.


Re: Ordering book

Unfortunately, I have nothing to do with the sales arrangements of the book, so can't really offer much help here. In fact, I haven't even seen the dog tags that come with the set myself!

Your best bet would be to contact your school's Scholastic sales rep and see what they can work out. http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/contact/

I sure hope you're able to get replacements. Happy reading!

Word Count

My son purchased both Dog Tags books and just started reading Semper Fido. We are wondering if you have a word count for each book. He has a word count goal he needs to meet for school. Thanks!

Re: Word Count

Luckily, I do!
These are approximate, but Book 1: Semper Fido is 43,600 words
Book 2, Strays, is: 40,700 words.

Hope that helps!

Wonderful Book!

My son is 9 years old, he is a slow reader and I have a very hard time getting him to finish any books that he starts reading. When he said that he wanted to get these books from the book fair I was a little scared I have spent so much money on books that he never finishes. After getting the books I was shocked when I would go into his room and he would be reading this book. I would have to make him stop reading just to eat dinner! . he finished the book last night and this morning he was saying that it is such a good feeling to finish a book and it was such an amazing story. Thank you for these amazing books. I am a very happy mom !

On a side note we are going puppy shopping this weekend. He said he wants to name the puppy Loki because he was such a good dog and he wants to be best friends with the puppy just like Gus was with Loki :)

re: Wonderful Book!

Your note makes me pretty happy. Thanks so much for sharing!

Looking forward to more

My 10-year old son just flew through the first two books and he is dying to read more in the series!

Re: Looking forward to more

That's great! The next two will be available in the spring!

Loved the books!

Just finished up my Scholastic book fair and sold ALL of the sets that came! Both books are now in my library, where I am sure eager readers will reduce them to flaking bits of paper, but hopefully they'll last until the other versions (hopefully hardcover) come out in May. Will definitely look forward to all the books in the series. This is exactly the sort of book my readers love. Thank you!

Re: Loved the books!

Thanks for sharing. I hope they enjoy the books! And I hope they hold up!

AR Quizes?

My 5th grade students purchased your books at the Scholastic Book Fair last week. I think it could only help your book sales if there was an AR quiz for it as well. When a couple of my students found out there was no quiz available, they didn't want to read it!
I have already requested a quiz for it but if others contact Renaissance Learning (AR) as well, it will happen quicker.

Good luck, it seems like a great book with lots of interest from my students.

Re: AR Quizes?

I'll pass your suggestion along. Thanks so much!


When is the next books coming out? i love your books. They are great and are the books based on some friend or there just fiction.

Re: more

I'm so glad you love the books. The next two Dog Tags books, set in WWII and the Civil War, will be out through the Scholastic Book Clubs and Fairs this spring. All four books will eventually be available through regular bookstores at some point in the next year.

As to your other questions, the books are fiction, but the characters and the action are based on the reading, research, and interviews I did with soldiers, marines, dog handlers, and veterinarians. So the books themselves come from my imagination, but my imagination was fed by a variety of real people and events.

The Best Book I Ever Read

The books are the best I have ever read they are really good books because they are full of adventures.

Re: The Best Book I Ever Read

Thank you! I'm so glad you like them!

Thank you

My son is an excellent reader but usually only does it when I make him. He loves these books, and has decided he now wants to be a Marine(he father is one so I guess I am really outnumbered now). He left me in front of the tv to go read tonight and asked me to record his favorite show so he could watch it the next day. Thank you so much!!! Keep them coming.

Re: Thank you

So glad my books could steal a young reader away from the TV for a while. That certainly makes my day.

The New Books

So what are the titles of the next 2 books are going to come out?

Re: The New Books

Dog Tags Book 3 will be called: Prisoners of War
Dog Tags Book 4 will be called: Divided We Fall

They will be available this spring. I'm pretty excited to share them with readers!

loved it

I read your books and they were awesome. I wish you would make more.

Re: loved it

Thanks for reading! I promise, I am writing more books right now!

Dog Tags

I'm 13 and I got the pack of the 2 dog tags books at a book fair. I just got done reading Semper Fido and I loved the story! I love dogs and I love the military so this has probably got to be one of the greatest book series in my life! p.s. It would be cool to have a book with a modern day navy sailer with his dog or a continuation of the 1st book.

Re: Dog Tags

"one of the greatest book series in my life" Wow! Thank you! I'm so glad you like Semper Fido. I do hope to write more about Gus and Loki some day.

dog tags

It was a awesome book! I hope you make a book 3 and 4. Could you do an akita in one of them.

Re: dog tags

Thanks so much! There will be books 3 and 4 in the series this spring. Unfortunately for the akita (beautiful dogs!), I've already written the books. The dogs I used are based on dogs that participated in the wars I'm writing about. I suppose I can tell you the kinds of dogs...maybe then you can guess where (and when) the books are set. Book 3 stars a Doberman Pinscher and Book 4 stars a Blood Hound.

Perfect Presents!

My son is 12 and although he is a very good reader, he has never been very excited about reading (it kills the teacher in me!). When he asked for more of your Dog Tag books for Christmas, I was so excited! I think these are the first books he has ever put on a birthday or Christmas list! Yay! I wish books 3 & 4 would be out for Christmas, but it sounds like the timing will be perfect for his birthday! Keep them coming! And thank you!

A Happy Mom & Teacher

Re: Perfect Presents!

"A Happy Mom & Teacher"
Well that is just about the best comment I could get! So glad he's reading and gladder still he's reading the books I wrote! Thanks for sharing!

I bought this book for my 3rd

I bought this book for my 3rd grader through Scholastic. He is an accelerated reader. He decided to read me part of the book. It just so happened to be a section that had two curse words in it. I'm disappointed that Scholastic is promoting this book due to the language. I know my son will hear such words at some point but still disappointed in Scholastic.

Re: I bought this book for my 3rd

I'm sorry to hear about your concerns. I'm not sure which sections you're referring to, as both I and my editors tried to be very careful to keep any inappropriate language out of the books, so if something is in there, it might be an error that I would love to know about. Feel free to send me an email through the contact form here: http://www.calexanderlondon.com/contact

Keep in mind, these are books about soldiers at war, so there is some deliberate coarseness, as I didn't want to sugarcoat things. I believe young readers can spot dishonesty a mile away, and that disingenuous can be more harmful to a young person's trust than a bad word or two...but as for full out cursing, that is something I did avoid doing and hope what you heard has not totally ruined the chance these stories have with you.

At the same time, there are a lot of great books out there, so if there's aren't right for your son, don't hesitate to put them down and find something better suited. That's what's wonderful about the time we live in. There is a great richness of children's literature available for all tastes.

Thank you for your note and best wishes.

Dog Tags is Simply Amazing!!!

I have a 10-year old son who has been struggling to find books that REALLY interest him, that keep him engaged from start to finish. This series is it!!
Just like everyone else, we got ours at the book fair and he's finished both books in 5 weeks! Amazing!! He Loves them - can't wait for # 3 to come out.
Thank you for writing this series, please keep them coming!!

One Happy Mom!

Re: Dog Tags is Simply Amazing!!!

Thanks so much One Happy Mom. When I was 10, I too struggled to find books I really wanted to read, so it thrills me to know that I've created something that speaks to the kind of 10 year old I was. I'll keep writing them and I look forward to sharing the next books in the series. I'm pretty excited about them!

Love these books...Want more!!

My boys (8 and 10) just finished reading about Gus & Loki...hanging on every chapter. I appreciate that the realities and emotions and sacrifices are not sugarcoated.

As some others have expressed, this book has finally hooked the interest of my 10 year old. He has also noticed that his writing style is a lot these books. He faced a lot of criticism in school about his writing style and now feels more confident.

We purchased the books at the school book fair and love the actual dog tags that came with it. I hope another set will be included with subsequent books. We are about to meet Chuck & Ajax and eagerly await more in the series. Thank you!

Re: Love these books...Want more!!

That's great! I love that he saw his own style echoed in mine and I hope the confidence he has will grown and blossom into a wonderful creative life. As long as he gets the essential rules of grammar and structure down, the sky really is the limit. Every writer, young or less-young, has a unique voice to bring to the world and I'm glad your 10 year old is embracing his.

Thanks for your comment and do be on the lookout for books 3 & 4 in early 2013!