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Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam Hardcover – February 6, 2007
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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 ›
It's an enticing beginning for children, 9-12, but also suitable to draw in adults who work with children and want to find good books for them or adults who have children and want to know what quality of books they are reading. This "Cracker" is a good one: It was nominated for the Louisiana Young Readers Choice in 2010 for Best Book in the grades 6-8 category, although I find it suitable for mature 4th and 5th grade readers.
It's a simple story to start: Boy wants Dog, Boy finds Dog, Boy must give up Dog. Now what happens to dog placed in the local pound? It's Vietnam time and the army needs military dogs to sniff out hidden landmines, bombs, and Viet Cong. Some dogs are one-man (or -boy) dogs and resist any new owner. However, the young recruit just out of high school is special, though he is told he is not special by his counselor. His brilliant older sister is "a specialist"--Rick is described as a "generalist." It's a label he fights throughout his duty tour in Nam.
He does become Cracker's "owner" by winning her respect. They become as one by the time they are sent to Vietnam, along with the other units in his squad. Rick wants Cracker to be "the best dog in Vietnam." You know in books like this that, if she doesn't become the best dog, then she will one of the best. I'll not spoil it for you.
So, that's a short summary of the story, but it's not the story that sold me on this novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Adventurous sad and very well thought
I think this book would be a good read for ages nine to fifteen.
I love what ever I need stuff to play baseball alright I I I I I I I I iPublished 6 months ago by brannon
This book is well written and good for all ages from young adult to old adult.Published 6 months 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 7 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 9 months ago by Laureth Jezebelle