Me & Jack

Me & Jack

5.0 6
by Danette Haworth
     
 

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Joshua Reed is used to moving around since his dad became an Army recruiter and the Vietnam War broke out. But their newest home, in the mountains of Pennsylvania, feels special somehow. Josh has started to make a new friend, his dad has finally allowed him to get a dog, and Jack—with his strange glowing ears and the way he seems to understand Josh's feelings

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Overview

Joshua Reed is used to moving around since his dad became an Army recruiter and the Vietnam War broke out. But their newest home, in the mountains of Pennsylvania, feels special somehow. Josh has started to make a new friend, his dad has finally allowed him to get a dog, and Jack—with his strange glowing ears and the way he seems to understand Josh's feelings—is like no other dog Josh has ever seen. But in Vietnam-era America, conflict is never far away—even on the homefront. When a local boy is killed overseas, the town turns on the new army recruiter. And when a few late-night disturbances all point to Jack, it will be up to Josh to fight for his dog, his family, and his new home.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Bowman-Kruhm Ed.D.
A well-told story about the devotion of a boy for his dog is interwoven with the rawness of life in the United States toward the end of the Vietnam War era, when communities were torn apart by those for and against the war. Told in first person, Haworth generally maintains the voice of a young person in the late 1960s while skillfully revealing the story of Joshua Reed. His father is an Air Force recruiter and Joshua must deal with the recent death of his mother coupled with a move to his father's newest assignment, this one a small community in Pennsylvania's mountains. The reader, along with Joshua, learns about the difficulties faced by the military through a variety of incidents such as protestors, supposedly against violence, who pelt his father's car with rocks; and the strength Mark, a returning veteran befriended by Mr. Reed, displays when a soldier killed in action is buried, and when Mark does not want to disrespect his uniform by responding to hecklers. A fast-paced story dealing with an oft neglected segment of history, this title is highly recommended for young readers and also older reluctant readers. One minor quibble, since historical fiction should be scrupulously researched and faithful to the period: Haworth includes some terms and items not in general use until at least a decade later; however, a teacher or librarian could develop an activity to have students look up the origin of a variety of words (e.g., "wuss" and "butthead") and whether salt and vinegar potato chips were for sale then. Perhaps include research on tape recorders in the activity to give students a view of life B.C. (before computers). Reviewer: Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ed.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Joshua Reed's mother passed away a few years ago, and he and his dad are constantly moving because his father is an air force recruiter during the Vietnam War. It's not the easiest of circumstances for a sixth grader. In his newest home, in the steep hills of Pennsylvania, Joshua and his father decide to adopt a dog from the local pound. Jack spooks and scares most of the community because he's so strange looking (he's actually a Pharaoh hound). He is blamed for breaking into the chicken coop, knocking over garbage cans, and more. Joshua has to defend Jack and determine who or what is frightening the community, while simultaneously making a comfortable place for himself. The constant presence of the Vietnam War plays an integral role in this novel. When attending church for the first time, Joshua and his father hear the pastor congratulate a local family on their son's upcoming return and empathize with a family whose son is MIA. Me & Jack is well paced and keeps readers focused and concerned about the characters and their development.—Patty Saidenberg, George Jackson Academy, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

Joshua, 11 or 12, knows all the hidden rules for making new friends, because his father is a frequently transferred Air Force recruiter.

When they arrive in rural Pennsylvania in the midst of the Vietnam War—a hard time to be a recruiter—he's delighted when his father gets him a large (and rather unruly) dog from the pound. Jack turns out to be a Pharaoh hound, a rare breed of hunting dog. When trashcans are overturned, then a cat is killed and a horse attacked, neighbors believe Jack must be responsible, creating a witch-hunt atmosphere and doing nothing to improve Joshua's friend-making prospects. Ray, a boy of his age, seems like a good friend-candidate, but he's usually paired up with angry, spoiled, rich boy Prater, who plays with guns and seems to hate the newcomer from the start. Almost as bad, Joshua's father, conscious of his own unpopular place in the community, sides more with the neighbors than with his son, leaving the boy on his own in his efforts to prove the dog's innocence. While other characters are predictable and lightly sketched, Joshua is vividly depicted through his first-person narration and amusing interior monologues, and the conflicts he deals with are effectively realized.

In all, it's an entertaining boy-and-dog adventure set against a not-often-depicted era of political strife that's notably similar to the present. (Historical fiction. 9-13)

Newbery Honor–winning author of Getting Near Audrey Couloumbis

Danette Haworth creates characters so real they stand out on the page. . . . This is a lovely debut.
From the Publisher

“Joshua is vividly depicted . . . an entertaining boy-and-dog adventure set against a not-often-depicted era of political strife that's notably similar to the present.” —Kirkus Reviews on Me & Jack

“Intriguing blend of fantasy and reality, myth and mystery.” —Booklist on Moonlight Secrets

“The Summer of Moonlight Secrets is like nothing I've read before: the perfect combination of intrigue, suspense, humor, and folklore.” —Barbara O'Connor, author of How to Steal a Dog

“Danette Haworth creates characters so real they stand out on the page. . . . This is a lovely debut.” —Audrey Couloumbis, Newbery Honor–winning author of Getting Near to Baby

“A coming-of-age tale that is as full of sass as its uniquely named protagonist.” —Kirkus on Violet Raines

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802794536
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
06/21/2011
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,353,959
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

DANETTE HAWORTH drew inspiration for Me & Jack from her own experiences growing up in a military family. She lived up and down the East Coast and in Turkey and England.
www.danettehaworth.com

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Me & Jack 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soooooooo goooooood!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! A #1 read again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! Action+ mystery=five stars Get this book!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A heart warming story of friendship and love. GET THIS BOOK NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-):-)!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five stars no dought about it love this book it has great showing of an airforce kid who just trys to fit in!!!!!!!!!!!!