LETTERS FROM WOLFIE by Patti Sherlock

LETTERS FROM WOLFIE

Age Range: 9 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mark, 12, wants his brother to be safe in Vietnam, so when the news comes that big dogs could save lives, he considers sending his lovable Wolfie away. Misplaced guilt, pride, and bids for attention from parents and a cute girl motivate this semi-heartfelt sacrifice. How could his pro-military father be wrong? Mark’s factual sources are limited: his history teacher, who is usually helpful, is silenced by the school administration. A new voice comes in the form of letters from Wolfie’s handler, who chronicles the dog’s experiences. The Army’s treatment of dogs is not completely humane, so Mark tries to pressure Wolfie’s early release by organizing a parade, appearing on radio and TV, and encouraging his legislative representatives to help. Weak, unflattering, pro-war characters and strong, charming, anti-war characters guide Mark’s actions. The ’60s are back, with Mark in the middle of political mumbo jumbo and societal confusion mirrored in his nation, community, school, and family, but Sherlock skillfully navigates Mark through that turbulence, so his clear teenage voice deepens as his opinions and plan of action change. Politically correct for today. (Fiction 9-11)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-670-03694-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2004