Not a masterpiece of wartime literature, but sure to please dog-lovers.




A Marine deployed in Iraq becomes mush in the presence of a puppy and devotes the remainder of his tour to trying to ship the charismatic canine home.

Securing an abandoned building during the first week of the U.S. invasion of Fallujah, the First Battalion, Third Marines, heard a strange noise. Turning the corner, the Lava Dogs (their training moniker) discovered a “ball of fur not much bigger than a grenade.” Named in honor of the battalion, the three-week-old puppy was taken back to the compound, de-wormed with chewing tobacco, washed in kerosene and fed MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). The Marines were in direct violation of General Order 1-A, which forbids pets, and they had another serious problem: Independent contractors were shooting all abandoned, non-military dogs. Unwilling to destroy Lava, Kopelman decided to violate the order and smuggle the puppy out of Iraq. With only a few weeks left on his third tour of duty, he worked fast, asking favors from local Seabees (who built the rowdy pup a crate), NPR correspondent Anne Garrels (who provided babysitting) and the Iams pet food company (which helped arrange exit transport). The narrative, which covers a six-month period, feels rushed, thanks in part to Kopelman’s breathless prose: “I call friends and family back in the States and tell them about Lava and ask for help. . . . See, they’re all scared that if I don’t get killed, I’ll lose my mind in Iraq. . . . Like, when I call one of my best buddies back in San Diego . . .” Fortunately, the group effort produces a happy ending, and Lava and Kopelman now enjoy the good life in Southern California.

Not a masterpiece of wartime literature, but sure to please dog-lovers.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-59228-980-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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