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Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam Hardcover – February 6, 2007
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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
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Top Customer Reviews
Cracker and Rick are paired together in training to sniff out bombs, booby-traps, and enemy soldiers. Neither one is too sure of the other at first, but they eventually become inseparable friends and soldiers. Rick's goal is to prove his worth and "whip the world," and Cracker is by his side throughout the experience.
Cynthia Kadohata gives the reader detailed descriptions of the dog training process, as well as a view of the dog handler/animal relationship. The scenes set in Vietnam provide a close-encounter type look that makes the reader feel part of the action.
Cracker is a book for anyone with a love and respect for the intelligence of animals and an interest in how they can interact with and serve humanity.
Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
Cracker, an amazingly intelligent German Shepherd, knows more than 90 words and lives the life of royalty that she deserves. It is her birthright. She has lived with (and slept with) Willie since she was about six months old, but before she is two, her life changes traumatically. Willie's father has been laid off, and the family needs to move to an apartment --- one that doesn't allow dogs. There are few options, and, according to the shelter, Cracker probably will be put down. Unable to locate a new family or home, they come across an advertisement from the military: Uncle Sam is looking for a few good dogs. Cracker is to enlist and join the army.
Cracker mourns for Willie, certain that his young master will rescue her as she is shipped to unfriendly locations, kenneled with lots of other dogs and then given to some strange man. Cracker is paired up with Rick Hanski --- who volunteered for duty in Vietnam at the young age of 17 --- to train for locating bombs, traps and the enemy. The lives of Cracker and Rick, along with those of thousands of soldiers, will depend on the success of their training and how well they are able to work together.
Author Cynthia Kadohata carefully crafts her narrative with two alternating voices --- Rick's and Cracker's --- as she describes their bond, fears, concerns and conditions.Read more ›
Cynthia Kadohata does a remarkable job letting us inside the minds of Rick, an angry young man who is sent off to Vietnam as a new dog handler and his dog, Cracker. When the narrative slips into Cracker's point of view, it does so seamlessly and convincingly. Not surprisingly, Rick is changed dramatically by his experiences in Vietnam and by the relationship he forges with Cracker. Cracker, too, becomes a different kind of dog - more in tune with her instincts and committed to the job she has been given.
Cracker's story is compelling and eye-opening, and this novel provides a realistic look at what went on in Vietnam while remaining appropriate for older middle grade readers. This is probably one for the 10-14 crowd, and it's not a book that's just for boys. The 7th grade girl I loaned it to this week returned it with a glowing review the next day.
Meanwhile, I'm still wiping my eyes, but in a good way. Cracker, Rick, and Cynthia Kadohata won my heart with this one - a historical novel and dog story that's not just for dog lovers and history buffs, but for all of us.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love what ever I need stuff to play baseball alright I I I I I I I I iPublished 18 days ago by brannon
This book is well written and good for all ages from young adult to old adult.Published 1 month ago by Maureen K. Chiafullo Haid
I absolutely love this book. This book is close to my heart. I found this book in the book store not long after I lost my dog cracker. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
The writing was good, but this story made me want to die. This book will tell you the horror of war, the corruption and vileness of the US government and their lies. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Laureth Jezebelle
I really enjoyed reading the story, with the mix between reality and fantasy, it made it more digestible.
I will recommend this book