Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part, he carefully saves his money buys war stamps to support the war that his father is fighting an ocean away.
After his best friend Scooter moves away, Hobie feels like his only friend is his faithful German Shepherd, Duke. But when he hears about Dogs for Defense, he knows what he has to do even if it means giving up the only friend he has left. But after sending Duke away Hobie comes to regret his decision and is determined to convince the army to send him back.
A compelling and endearing read, from Kirby Larson.
Ever since Hattie Big Sky I've been hooked on Ms. Larson's books, and with Duke she won me over all over again. Duke is a coming of age tale of a young man learning to live in a world in at war. Hobie, his family, and those around them have given everything to the war effort, all so that they can help their soldiers come home to them safely.
I loved how this book captured the feel of the 1940's, with the sense of community and friendship of a people who pulled together during a time of war, so different from today's reality. Hobie is a strong and stubborn young man, not without his flaws that only make him more relatable. Without Duke by his side, Hobie is forced to learn to deal with the world around him. One of my favorite characters ended up being June, Hobie's adorably persistent little sister. I also really liked Duke's handler, Marv who took the time to write to Hobie and let him know how Duke was doing, and his letters in response to Hobie's scheme to get Duke back always made me smile!
Overall, this was a terrific coming of age tale about a boy and his dog, set during WWII. I enjoyed it immensely, and I really liked how good old fashioned values were present. This is a great book for all ages, it would be a great read aloud book, and it would appeal to both boys and girls alike, I also believe that adults would find this too be a very worthwhile and enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book for any age, and look forward to reading many more books from Ms. Larson in the future!
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