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Posted October 11, 2013
Duke is an historical fiction, taking place in Seattle, Washingt
Duke is an historical fiction, taking place in Seattle, Washington during World War II. Much of the book is based on actual fact, so it is entertaining as well as educational.
Why kids will love it - Kids will relate right away to Hobie. He's a normal, every day kid who just happens to live during a traumatic time in our country's history. Not only is his dad fighting overseas, but he is talked into donating his beloved dog and sending him to fight as well. Larson does a great job showing all the emotions and issues Hobie is dealing with - sadness with his dad gone and then captured, regret over donating Duke, a bully at school that won't go away and how to be brave and support your country with all this going on in the background. I didn't know about the Dogs for Defense program (which was real) and kids can find out about this important part of the war effort.
What I learned as a writer - In the back matter, Larson explained why she picked to write about the Dogs for Defense aspect of the war. She hadn't found any books for kids showcasing this fact of the war and saw a need. I've heard this so many times at writing conferences - think of subject and what aspect hasn't be written about yet. There's your marketable idea!
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