Monday, March 01, 2010

Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam (YA)


Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata. 2007. Simon & Schuster. 320 pages.

Grrrr! For I am the all-powerful Cracker!

Unable to give her a home after his family moves, Willie (and his parents) decide to give their dog, Cracker, a German shepherd, to the U.S. Army. The army is looking for good dogs to be trained and sent to Vietnam. Willie, who has taught his dog ninety words including the ever-important word wienie, is sure that Cracker is going to be the best of the best. Not that it makes it any easier on him. As his continued letters to the Cracker's handler show. This is one boy who misses his dog. There's no getting over such a dog.

Rick Hanski has joined the army and he's going to be a dog handler. He's assigned Cracker to train. Together they must learn new skills and learn to trust one another completely before heading to war, to the jungle. Not only will Rick depend on Cracker to alert him of danger, many soldiers' lives are on the line; entire platoons are counting on Cracker and other well-trained dogs to alert them of danger, of the enemy, of traps, of bombs, etc.

This one is narrated by both dog and man. And it can get ugly. A book about war almost has to get ugly. One thing is for sure, after facing the war together, these two will never be the same again.

I thought this book told a unique story, a compelling story.

Note: I read this one for the Vietnam challenge and the Take Another Chance Challenge. For the "Genre-Switch-Up" category. Because I so don't do dog books. Books with dogs on the cover are ones I usually avoid. Unless I've got trusted, trusted friends promising that no dogs are abused or killed within the pages. And it's also a war book. From a soldier's point of view.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Lenore 10:16 AM  

I actually have promotional "dog tags" from this one!

Serena 8:10 AM  

sounds like one that I should consider for the challenge. We should get this posted soon.

Jenners 9:09 PM  

A dog book and a war book! What a combo. It is interesting that it is narrated by both the dog and the handler.

Anna 8:02 AM  

I don't do dog books anymore after bawling my eyes out over Marley & Me. This sounds like one I'd be interested in, though. We posted about your review here on War Through the Generations.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Chelsey,  9:36 PM  

It was such an amazing book... I have been doing research on the Vietnam Conflict/War and this book was right with the facts... I would recomend this to anyone, and everyone! Great job Cynthia Kadohata!

Shelley 10:19 PM  

I just recently read this one, and I wasn't sure if I would appreciate the point of view of the dog, but I loved it!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP