Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Letters From Wolfie by Patti Sherlock

This novel is part of a Battle of the Books contest, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Mark's brother is going to serve with the army in Vietnam, and Mark hears that the military needs dogs to help with patrols. Mark offers his dog, Wolfie, to the army, but he spends most of the book trying to get him back. Throughout the book, Wolfie's handler sends letters to Mark from the dog, and Mark sends letters back to them. Mark writes letters to congressmen, organizes a protest, and conducts television and newspaper interviews to try to get answers from the military. In addition, his girlfriend is against the war, and his best friend has an abusive parent. Mark can't even avoid the Vietnam controversy at home, because his parents have opposing viewpoints on the conflict. The one constant throughout the book is Mark's love for his dog.

Be forewarned, this book is very emotional. Mark has feelings bubble up all over the place due to the different problems he must face. His schoolwork, social life, and home life all suffer. The author did a nice job of capturing the conflicting emotions concerning the Vietnam War while still keeping Wolfie as a central character. I grew up around this time, so I could identify with many of the topics that were mentioned, even the Smothers brothers comedy team who lost their television show for speaking out against the government. I don't know if today's readers will enjoy the topic of the book, but it was an important time in our country's history.

Lexile level from lexile.com 760


  1. I'll have to read this one. So many students like to read about Vietnam.

  2. Do you remember by any chance what the poem that Mark wrote was? I believe that it started like this: Once there was a happy dog,

  3. I don't remember the poem, and we don't have the book in our school library to check. Sorry.


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