Letters from Wolfie

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Letters from Wolfie

Things are changing for thirteen-year-old Mark. His older brother, Danny, has enlisted in the Army and is on his way to Vietnam. As he and his parents adjust to Danny’s absence, Mark notes, with some irritation, how his brother is always the center of attention, even when he is thousands of miles away. At least Mark has his big, warm-hearted dog, Wolfie, to love. However, when he learns that dogs are instrumental in saving soldiers’ lives in Vietnam, Mark overcomes his initial resistance and decides to volunteer Wolfie. Through a series of letters from Wolfie’s handler, written from the dog’s point of view, Mark is kept abreast of events in his pet’s new life. Yet, he begins to have questions about the program: How long are dogs kept in the service? Are they returned to their owners? When Mark does not receive satisfactory answers to his queries, he begins to have misgivings about the military’s canine policy, and his doubts lead to far-reaching actions that affect his relationships with all the people in his world. This novel sheds light on a disturbing time in this country’s not-too-distant past, when teachers were forbidden to discuss the conflict in their classrooms, and the necessity of stopping the spread of Communism at the cost of so many young lives was coming into question. Mark is a believable character, and the reader will feel his uncertainties, frustrations, and growth as the story progresses to the emotional conclusion. 240 pages. Ages 12-15
Recommended by Basya Karp, Librarian.

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