Me & Jackby Danette Haworth
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… See more details below
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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—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.
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)
Intriguing blend of fantasy and reality, myth and mystery.
The Summer of Moonlight Secrets is like nothing I've read before: the perfect combination of intrigue, suspense, humor, and folklore.
Danette Haworth creates characters so real they stand out on the page. . . . This is a lovely debut.
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