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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Letters From Wolfie by Patti Sherlock

Letters From Wolfie
It's the 1960's and Mark's brother is serving in Vietnam. His brother, Danny, is one of those vibrant people who are always at the center of attention. Mark offers his dog, Wolfie, to help protect the soldiers. Mark doesn't realize all the ramifications. Mark just assumes that he is loaning his dog just for a year. The Army considers dogs "disposable equipment". Things are too complicated and a peaceful protest is organized by Mark on behalf of Wolfie and the dogs in the military. His Mom takes a job at the library and his Father accuses her of getting wacky ideas from some of the people that work at the library.

Mark is torn between his veteran Father's viewpoint and his Mother's doubts about the war. Mark hardly has a voice of his own. However, he is a rather prolific writer ( I mean - several pages just for sending a letter). The letters from Wolfie are actually written by the Army handler for Wolfie. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Wolfie writes more often than his brother.

This compelling story includes the draft dodgers, the returning wounded, and many divergent perspectives. The winning smile of Wolfie is something I understand and I will never forget. I would have never guessed how he got his name. Thanks for serving, Wolfie.


Comments:
The story is set during the Vietnam war, however, the emotions, consequences, and conflicts are timeless.

At first I thought how many kids would know or care to know about what happened "long ago?" soon after I started the book I realized just how applicable it is to today's events.
 
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