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"Exceptionally well-crafted and emotionally authentic." --KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review
"[An] incisive tale of loyalty, patriotism, sacrifice, and bravery." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
"Larson weaves a wonderfully genuine attachment between boy and dog and thoughtfully examines Hobie's conflicted emotions as Duke gets partnered with a battle-bound Marine." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A good example of how bravery comes in all shapes, sizes -- and breeds."
Praise for DEAR AMERICA: THE FENCES BETWEEN US
"Larson deftly folds historical detail into Piper's lively diary entries, which describe her friendships, first romance, and school dramas as well as her view of the subsequent internment of Japanese Americans and the prejudice against sympathizers." --BOOKLIST
"Larson does an excellent job recreating the tension Piper feels. . . . [a] well-researched novel." --VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES
Praise for HATTIE BIG SKY
A Newbery Honor Recipient
"[An] engaging historical novel . . . [Larson] creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters." --BOOKLIST, starred review
"Larson . . . create[s] a masterful picture of the homesteading experience and the people who persevered." --SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review
"Refreshing." --BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
Posted October 11, 2013
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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Posted May 30, 2014
The book, Duke, is about a little boy, his dog, and his dad. His dad was leaving to go fight in WWII. He encouraged his son to be brave and get ready for anything.
Hobie wanted to help do whatever he could to make the war end as quick as it could. So he decided to give his dog to "Dogs for Defense." He regretted donating him until he learned his father had been taken prisoner by the Germans. Hobie realized he had to be brave. (student review)
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Duke was given to us in exchange for our honest review. Opinions are the reviewers. No compensation was received for this review.