Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kadohata, Cynthia. Cracker

Kadohata, Cynthia. Cracker: the best dog in Vietnam. Atheneum, 2007 [978-1-4169-0637-7 // 1-4169-0637-1]
Rick is a soldier headed for Vietnam and wants to be in the dog corps. He is assigned to Cracker, a smart, independent and sometimes troublesome German Shepard. What follows is the touching story of a dog and his handler, told both by the soldier and the dog. The 312 book tells what it must have been like to be stationed in Vietnam as a dog handler. There are some historical notes at the end of the book. It is interesting that the does were considered by the military as equipment and at the end, surplus military equipment. Cracker supposedly has a vocabulary of 90 words and when the dog narrates the story, he only understands those 90 words as he understands them. This is a wonderful story, telling the harshness of war, and the devotion of a dog. The one thing I did not like was when one of the other dogs died, Cracker thought about how the other dog was going to a better place. I wish the author had stuck to the 90 word understanding instead of getting the dog to ponder theology. Overall it is a great book, telling of the war and devotion.


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