Letters From Wolfie [NOOK Book]

Overview

Mark’s dog Wolfie is part malamute, part German shepherd, and all heart. Mark can hardly imagine life without his big, loving canine companion. But in 1969, the Vietnam War is still raging, and when Mark learns that the army needs scout dogs, he decides to send Wolfie. As his dad says, a smart dog like Wolfie could save a lot of soldiers—soldiers like Mark’s brother, Danny. Besides, it seems like the patriotic thing to do. Inspired by real events, this is a heartbreaking story about sacrifice, loyalty, and the ...
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Letters From Wolfie

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Overview

Mark’s dog Wolfie is part malamute, part German shepherd, and all heart. Mark can hardly imagine life without his big, loving canine companion. But in 1969, the Vietnam War is still raging, and when Mark learns that the army needs scout dogs, he decides to send Wolfie. As his dad says, a smart dog like Wolfie could save a lot of soldiers—soldiers like Mark’s brother, Danny. Besides, it seems like the patriotic thing to do. Inspired by real events, this is a heartbreaking story about sacrifice, loyalty, and the complex meanings of patriotism.

Certain that he is doing the right thing by donating his dog, Wolfie, to the Army's scout program in Vietnam, thirteen-year-old Mark begins to have second thoughts when the Army refuses to say when and if Wolfie will ever return.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dog lovers are the most obvious audience for Sherlock's (Some Fine Dog) hard-hitting Vietnam-era novel, which boasts a painting of a grinning German shepherd on its jacket-but they may also be put off by the premise. It's 1969, and 13-year-old Mark Cantrell has just seen his older brother, Danny, off to Vietnam. Shortly after Danny writes that the Army wants more German shepherds to train for use in combat, Mark offers up his own beloved shepherd, Wolfie. The author supplies various motivations for Mark's actions (pressure from his Army-loving father, loyalty to Danny, hopes of impressing girls at school), but the set-up isn't entirely convincing and makes it hard for readers to identify with Mark. It's a weak link in an otherwise strong novel. Belatedly Mark learns that he no longer has any claim on Wolfie ("When you donated your dog... it became property of the U.S. Army," an unsympathetic captain tells him). Mark is shaken, and news from the front, relayed in occasional letters from Danny and in letters written by Wolfie's soldier handler, slowly inclines him toward protest. Mark and Wolfie become a point of entry to the serious issues raised by the Vietnam War. Mark's parents adopt opposing views-the father stands behind his country no matter what, the mother wants to know exactly what her son's sacrifice is for-and Sherlock successfully casts both in a positive light, keeping each of them human and vulnerable. The inevitable tragic ending is well modulated, too. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
Thirteen-year-old Mark Cantrell's decision to enlist his dog, Wolfie, as a scout for the Army is encouraged by a letter from his brother, Danny, serving in Vietnam, and his father, a former trumpet player with the First Calvary obsessed with duty and responsibility. Mark hopes Wolfie's service to his country will quicken Danny's return and get his family's life back to normal, so he can deal with his girlfriend Claire, his best friend Rick's turbulent home life, and the strained relationship of his parents. Further complications arise when Mark learns of the Army's policy of treating dogs as their equipment. Realizing the horrible fate awaiting Wolfie, Mark campaigns to bring Wolfie home along with the other service animals. Mark comes to understand that his father's views on war and duty differ from his own and finds his brother comes home a complete stranger. The Vietnam War serves as the catalyst and the crux of the changes in the Cantrell family's life. Adolescent pet owners and non-owners will enjoy the bond between Mark and Wolfie, although some adult readers might be turned off by the anti-war sentiment that permeates work. 2004, Viking Press, 240 pp., Ages young adult.
—Eldridge Tsosie
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-In this top-notch novel, Sherlock weaves together numerous threads of emotion, information, and plot so seamlessly that readers will be surprised by how much they've learned by the time they finish this deceptively simple story. Mark, 13, overshadowed by his older brother who is serving in Vietnam, impulsively volunteers to send his beloved dog there to impress the adults who are so taken with Danny. Regretful but stuck, he goes through the paperwork, assuming Wolfie will come home after a year's tour. The animal is assigned to Tucker, a marginally literate young man who compassionately writes letters to Mark "from" the dog, while Mark begins the increasingly hopeless task of getting Wolfie back. Meanwhile, he develops a relationship with a girl who is against the war. Mark's mother comes into her own as she gets a job and, through correspondence, helps Tucker realize his potential as well. Clearly, Vietnam is a disillusioning experience for all, including Mark's gung-ho father, who never quite admits to doubts about the war, but befriends the dad of a draft dodger. Throughout the compelling narrative, youngsters not only watch Mark mature, but are also provided with a terrifying window into what is happening-politically, emotionally, and physically-to the soldiers. While all of the characters are well developed and dynamic, it is only wise neighbor Effie, who fled Germany during World War II, who looks upon the unfolding events with true understanding. This story will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.-Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101176801
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 2/15/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 738,143
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 293 KB

Meet the Author

Patti Sherlock
Patti Sherlock lives on a farm in Idaho. She walks her dogs in fields that are home to hawks, owls, ravens, coyotes, and a family of golden eagles.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Book

    I love this book i cried SO much!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    To all Wolfs here ONLY

    The War will happen. I have an idea. How about you send a wolf spy to spy in the clans and bring us info. Then you can surround a camp and crash hrought the wallas and cealing. You dop on cats d bit their necks. Some will flea and the wolfs outside will guard the enterance. And then you kill them all. Whn you leave, make the camp colaaspe on itselfs and no more clan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Vincent to all

    Ill im fighting for the cats i swore on starclan i wont attack a cat unless there evil i have friends whos a cat

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Misha

    I dont really want to fight cats cuz i rp alot of cats

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    KAI

    Hi i'm new i'm here to join to help to save your leader and you so can i join please?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    Letters from Wolfie

    fantastic and excellent book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2015

    To the russet pup that 'tumpled' in:

    You can join Eagle Pack at eagles perch. Hmm..... Russel can be your name. &heart/Ava\&heart

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2014

    Awesome

    Awesome i really liked the book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

    Epic

    Best book ever

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Frost

    We need to move to 'singing wolf' first result thanks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    K Wind

    Howls a mating call

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Dragon

    I'm confused

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Bila to tabbu

    Wait! Result what

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Shadow

    "Sorry i haven't been on"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Secret

    Hi peeps

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    Cats

    We declare war on u *kills a wolf

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    May i join

    Screech a boy brown . Looking for a mate .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Flame

    An orange she wolf with grey tint came in. Her eyes were azure blue. "My name is Flame. May I join?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Doul

    Yes

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Trinity

    Sleeps with her pups.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews

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