Cracker! by Cynthia Kadohata
The Best Dog in Vietnam

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a German shepherd trained to sniff out bombs, traps, and the enemy. The fate of entire platoons rests on her keen sense of smell. She's a Big Deal, and she likes it that way. Sometimes Cracker remembers when she was younger, and her previous owner would feed her hot dogs and let her sleep in his bed. That was nice, too.

Rick Hanski is headed to Vietnam. There, he's going to whip the world and prove to his family and his sergeant -- and everyone else who didn't think he was cut out for war -- wrong. But sometimes Rick can't help but wonder that maybe everyone else is right. Maybe he should have just stayed at home and worked in his dad's hardware store.

When Cracker is paired with Rick, she isn't so sure about this new owner. He's going to have to prove himself to her before she's going to prove herself to him. They need to be friends before they can be a team, and they have to be a team if they want to get home alive.

Told in part through the uncanny point of view of a German shepherd, Cracker! is an action-packed glimpse into the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a dog and her handler. It's an utterly unique powerhouse of a book by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira.

About Cynthia Kadohata

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Cynthia Kadohata is the author of the Newbery Medal-winning book Kira-Kira, the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award winner Weedflower, Cracker!, Outside Beauty, A Million Shades of Gray, and several critically acclaimed adult novels, including The Floating World. She has published numerous short stories in such literary journals as the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Grand Street, and the Mississippi Review. She lives with her son and dog in West Covina, California.Julia Kuo is the creator of 20 Ways to Draw a Cat and 44 Other Awesome Animals as well as the charming board book Everyone Eats. Julia also created the cover and interior artwork for Newbery Medal winning author Cynthia Kadohata’s The Thing About Luck and New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han’s Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream. She lives in Chicago.
Published June 20, 2008 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 337 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cracker!

Kirkus Reviews

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Rick’s colloquialisms are essential to his character, but sometimes fall flat on the page: “The more Rick trained, the more he started to feel that Cracker was kind of like reading his mind or something.” The narrative is slow to engage, starting with Cracker’s previous owner, and plenty of sacch...

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Publishers Weekly

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Since winning a Newbery medal for her World War II book, Kira-Kira , Kadohata has ventured into the muddier world, literally and figuratively, of the Vietnam War (the “American War” to the Vietnamese).

May 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vie...

Teen Reads

Rick is warned that he is never to take his eyes off his dog in the field, and Cracker must learn to separate a variety of alien smells in order to determine real threats.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vie...

Arlington Library

Rick is tries to find Cracker but with a bad leg Rick can only send out letters about Cracker going missing.

Nov 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vie...

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