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Even as Christmas approaches and Gail longs to hear that her soldier father has not been killed in World War II, the sixth grader helps bring her handicapped uncle back to life.
Posted March 14, 2013
The book opens during World War II with five men in a B-17 bomber who are shot down over occupied France. Two survive, the navigator who is seriously injured and the gunner who tries to get them both to safety. They find refuge in the home of a French family whose father was killed by the Nazis. Gail Harmon, a sixth-grader, lives in a yellow house in Stonewall, OK, with her mother Eva, younger twin siblings Timmy and Mary Nell who are five, and Captain, the Labrador retriever named Captain that her father gave her before he went away to fight in the war.
Then the Harmons receive a telegram that Gail’s father, Virgil Harmon, has been shot down and is missing in action. Nearby live Gail’s great-grandmother, Big Mama, and Uncle Ned. When Virgil and Ned were boys, their parents were killed in an accident and their grandmother came from Mississippi to take care of them. Now, Ned, who became a geologist, has returned from the war broken and blinded to find that his wife has left him. He is very bitter, drinks the home-brewed whiskey that the neighbor gives him, and acts as if he doesn’t want to live. Yet Gail has received a letter from her father asking her to take care of his younger brother. Is there anything that Gail and Captain can do to help Ned, especially when he wanders off by himself in the snow? And will Gail ever see her father again?
My reaction after reading this book is basically positive. Yes, there is a great deal of sadness, but of course many families experienced great sadness during World War II. However, there is also a feeling of hope, especially at the end. So it is not morbid or depressing. There are references to smoking a pipe, dancing, and an age of millions of years for some of Ned’s fossils, and the euphemistic term “gosh” is used once. And, of course, there is Ned’s drinking, but both Mrs. Harmon and Big Mama refer to it as poison, and the implication finally is that Ned will give it up. All in all, Captain’s Command gives a good picture of what it was like for typical American families with men in the service during World War II and the kinds of problems that they faced.
Posted October 24, 2006
From the start I liked this book, but I'll have to read the rest to find out. I plan to read other reviews to determine whether to read this book or not.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 15, 2005
In this wonderful but poignant story, 12-year-old Gail Harmon's father is 'missing in action' in Europe during World War II. Everyone in Gail's small town but her mother believes he's dead--everyone including Gail's uncle Ned who has lost all hope after becoming blind from the war. As Gail and her loyal companion, her Golden Retriever, Captain, try and save her uncle from committing suicide, Gail tries to overcome her greatest loss in her life. I liked this book because every single character--from beginning to end--had to make sacrifices for the war. I recommend that everyone--especially dog lovers--read this book!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 9, 2002
This book is about a girl named Gail. Her dad goes to WW2 but when it's over she finds out her dad is missing. Also her uncle was blinded in the war his only hope is that Captain their dog can save him. Mean while Gail can help wondering if her dad will ever come home.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 27, 2009
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