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by Cynthia Kadohata Paperback
Item Number 9781416906384
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Product Information

  • AuthorCynthia Kadohata
  • Page Count320
  • ISBN10141690638X
  • ISBN139781416906384
  • PublisherSimon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Year Published2008
  • Grade Level5 - 9
  • Type of BookFiction
  • SubjectHistorical fiction (Children's/YA)
    Animal stories (Children's/YA)
    General fiction (Children's/YA)
    Adventure stories (Children's/YA)
  • Lexile Level730
  • ImprintAtheneum Books for Young Readers

Product Description

Cracker, a prize German shepherd, once belonged to a boy named Willie, but now belongs to the U.S. military, which has trained her to sniff out bombs, traps, and the enemy. She never believes that she will find a master as loving as Willie until she meets seventeen-year-old Rick Hanski, an army private in basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Rick enlisted in the military knowing that he would go to Vietnam, but he never intended to go as a dog handler. To U-Haul,Rick's sergeant, Cracker and Rick are an unlikely pair, but when they get to Vietnam, they become a team and are sent on dangerous search-and-rescue missions, often in the "point" position. In one deadly battle, Rick and Cracker are separated, and Rick receives a serious wound and a ticket home. When he arrives at his parents' house in Wisconsin, he finds that he is a changed man, and the only way that he can ever be at peace with himself is to be reunited with his best friend -- Cracker.ACTIVITIES BEFORE READINGHave students look at a time line of the United States' involvement in Vietnam ( Engage them in a discussion about the difference between a conflict and a war. At what point did the Vietnam conflict become the Vietnam War?DISCUSSION TOPICSWillie knows that if he doesn't find someone to adopt Cracker, he will have to give her to the pound. Then he reads that the army needs dogs to go to Vietnam. Why is the pound worse for Cracker than going to war? Discuss why Cracker is especially suitable as a war dog. Cracker's name as a puppy was Magnificent Dawn of Venus. How does Cracker live up to her original name?Rick's sister, Amy, graduated from MIT. His parents always felt that she had a "calling," but Rick, who wasn't a good student, was expected to work in the family's hardware store. Explain how Rick's jealousy of his sister's accomplishments contributes to his eventual success as a dog handler in Vietnam. Why does Rick's father agree to si

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