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Positive, encouraging, and inspirational.

During his second mission in Afghanistan, Marine Corps intelligence collector Craig Grossi makes a discovery that changes everything.

In between attacks on his unit’s compound, Craig spots a dog searching the ruins for scraps of food. Although it’s filthy and bug-ridden, the little dog is joyful and friendly. In no time he has a name—Fred—and is accompanying the team on patrols, comforting the wounded, and winning the hearts of every Marine in the compound. As their tour draws to a close, Craig is desperate to rescue Fred from the war zone. The military’s rule on stray dogs is unflinching, but with the help of brave friends and loving family, both Craig and Fred return to the United States. Fred acclimates nicely to civilian life, but Craig cannot leave the war behind. Once again Fred’s boundless joy shines through, showing Craig the way back home. More than just a story of a man and his dog, this is a tale of joy eclipsing pain. Even in this young readers’ adaptation of his identically titled 2017 book for adults, Grossi’s portrayal of war is realistic. Death, violence, and fear are a constant in the battlefield, but Grossi manages to find humor in the midst of horror and life after loss. Several pages of snapshots of Fred are included at the book’s halfway point, and brief celebrations of two of Grossi’s slain comrades in arms appear at the end.

Positive, encouraging, and inspirational. (Memoir. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-269335-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2017

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Here is an adventure in a unique setting. The lively text and lovely watercolors document three and a half months of a summer the artist and author spent at the South Pole, as part of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists & Writers Program. Hooper describes everyday life aboard the research ship Laurence M. Gould, a sturdy orange icebreaker that scientists use to travel between the islands to study the wide variety of animals who come each year to breed and raise their young. An assortment of penguins, elephant seals, giant petrels, huge skuas, and leopard seals hold center stage. Scientists are less important than the serious business of successfully raising young in the short summer season. The author captures the drama of the ice-cold ocean, alive with life: “Swarms of barrel-shaped blue-tinged salps, stuck together in floating chains. Minute creatures with red eyes. Sliding through the water in a curving path like a ribbon.” The artist provides striking paintings of the landscape and the animals in soft washy colors, and quick pencil sketches. The ice is lemon gold with mauve shadows, and the sea a silver gray in the 24-hour day. Animals are expressive and individual. The krill, the tiny shrimp-like creatures that form the backbone of the ocean food chain, appear in luminous glory. The author concludes with a page on global warming, a map of the islands visited, and an index. From cover to cover a personal and informative journey. (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7922-7188-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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As in their previous collaborations (Colors of Freedom, Voices of Rape, not reviewed), Bode and Mack portray an issue through the voices of children and adults affected by it. Bode (recently deceased) interviewed preteens, their parents, and adult experts, and organized their responses into parts "For Girls and Boys" and "For Parents." In sections with titles like "Public Recognition" or "What's in Your Heart," her text, addressed directly to the reader, synthesizes many of the responses in a way that should comfort and challenge young and adult readers. At least half of the book is comprised of responses she gathered from her survey, some of which are illustrated in strips by Mack. The result is an engagingly designed book, with questions and topics in bold type so that readers can browse for the recognition they may be looking for. They will need to browse, as there is no index, and young readers will certainly be tempted by the "For Parents" section, and vice versa. A bibliography (with two Spanish titles) and list of Web resources (with mostly live links) will help them seek out more information. They may well have other questions—especially having to do with parents' sexuality—which they don't find answered here, but this is a fine and encouraging place to start. (print and on-line resources) (Non-fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-81945-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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