Children and teens sometimes wrestle with the question of courage – what does it mean to be courageous? How can I have courage when I’m so scared?

Hobie Hansen constantly asks himself those questions, especially since his dad is courageously fighting in World War II.  He finds great comfort in his dog Duke, who accompanies him everywhere he goes.  Except school.  Dogs aren’t allowed at school.

So when his neighbor suggests Hobie gives Duke to the war effort, Hobie rebells.  He doesn’t want to lose his faithful companion.  But he wants to do his part for the war, and he sends Duke to war.

He immediately regrets his decision, and tries to get Duke back.  Duke by Kriby Larson tells the story of his attempt to get Duke back from the army, and how he deals with the bullies in his school and his father’s absence.

Larson is one of my favorite authors (see other reviews here and here).  Highly recommended for ages 6 – 12, depending on reading ability.

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