Captain's Command

( 5 )

Overview

Everyone in Gail’s small town believes her father is dead when his plane is shot down in World War II. Everyone but Gail’s mother, who has faith that he’s still alive. Gail’s Uncle Ned has lost his faith after being blinded in the war. Though Gail promised her father to watch out for her uncle, his bitterness over his loss keeps pushing her away. It seems only Captain, Gail’s golden retriever, can break ...
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Overview

Everyone in Gail’s small town believes her father is dead when his plane is shot down in World War II. Everyone but Gail’s mother, who has faith that he’s still alive. Gail’s Uncle Ned has lost his faith after being blinded in the war. Though Gail promised her father to watch out for her uncle, his bitterness over his loss keeps pushing her away. It seems only Captain, Gail’s golden retriever, can break through Ned’s shell.

As Gail and Captain try to save Ned from destroying himself, Gail can’t help wondering if she’ll ever hear from her
father again.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though Myers's (Ethan Between Us) novel borders on melodrama, it may well serve as a solid introduction to America's involvement in WWII. The story opens as two men, while thinking about their wives and children, are shot down in a plane somewhere in Europe. The narrative then shifts to sixth-grader Gail's memory of receiving a telegram explaining that her father is missing in action. The story flashes between occupied France and Stonewall, Okla., as Gail and her family await further word of his fate. While Gail's mother and great-grandmother struggle to maintain a normal daily routine, Gail, too, grapples with quotidian concerns: her little sister's Christmas present, run-ins with a schoolmate and her Uncle Ned, blinded by a war injury and wallowing in self-pity. By referring to the two Americans who have been shot down only as "the navigator" and "the gunner," and by creating different fates for the two men, Myers keeps readers in suspense alongside her characters; thus the news of Gail's father's death comes as a blow to readers as well. In an uplifting coda, Gail saves her blind uncle from a fall in a frozen stream, breaks through his wall of indifference and makes her own wartime sacrifice, giving him her beloved golden retriever to serve as a seeing-eye dog. Myers evokes the 1940s era and small-town locale with warmth and authority. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477619070
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 1,375,700
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Myers is the author of a number of novels for middle readers, and the only two-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award. She lives in Chandler, Oklahoma.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 14, 2013

    The book opens during World War II with five men in a B-17 bombe

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    Only on page 40 but who cares?

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2005

    Sad but great novel!

    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!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2002

    a reviewer

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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