Great Vietnam read/listen for Middle Grade readers (5th-8th grade). Our family enjoys animal stories regardless, but in this we got to hear what Cracker is experiencing, what her owner thinks, and then how her handler in the Army is motivated and communicating with Cracker. The different points of view are blended to drive the story forward and provide special insight into the setting. What does the jungle smell like? How does a trip wire sound?
This book also provides terrific exposure to the esprit de corp/brothers in arms camaraderie of deploying into war zones without focusing overly much on the darker sides of the war. There is blood shed, loss of life and limb, and some cursing (hells and damns) as is appropriate without being gratuitous. One aspect I particularly enjoyed was hearing the lingo of the soldiers at that time. An idea might be “dinky-dow”–a handler and dog “take point” and the unit is sent in to the village to “fix it.”
Cynthia Kadohata does an excellent job of providing user friendly insight into the war, the role of the dogs, and she makes a time and place so foreign to most of us into a world we begin to envision. Good Writer. Gooooood Writer. 😉
Kristin King is an author and publisher. More of her 80+ reviews are available on Goodreads and Amazon. Kristin’s imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).