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Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  4,888 Ratings  ·  600 Reviews
Cracker is one of the United States Army’s most valuable weapons: 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 wa ...more
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Published February 27th 2007 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 2007)
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Charissa That's just how the story goes. The writers have to make it that way.
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Jan 11, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Valerie by: Cara
Cracker! has a value all its own. I read this book in 2 days but only because I had to sleep and I fell asleep thinking about it. I was that enthralled. I adore Cracker, and Rick is a great owner. I can relate to Rick's frustration in the beginning of the book with both Cracker and himself.

I like that you get the perspective of Cracker, Cracker's previous owner Willie, and Rick; it makes the book more interesting. Rick and Cracker don't just make a team, but a relationship. They have a bond that
Feb 14, 2010 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal lovers
More like a 3.5 stars. Cracker is used to the pampered life as a family dog, but that's about to change. Her owner is a young boy named Willie, but he has to give her up. So he sends her off to become a trained military scout dog in the Vietnam war. There, she is paired up with Rick Hanski. Rick wants to whip the world and prove to everybody that he is capable of serving in the army. While undergoing training, they slowly begin to trust each other - because if they don't then it could cost both ...more
Pineapple Pie
Mar 27, 2017 Pineapple Pie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! Let me tell you. If your are interested in a good read then this book is for you. It entitles anything you would like to know about a war dog. Named Cracker. This dog was trained by military professionals to become the best dog in Vietnam. During the read of this amazing and cool book you will learn how all the other dogs that Cracker must compare herself to are also in competition for the top prize. This prize is what every owner wants as a Vietnam war owner. The dogs mus ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readinngjunky" for

This book tells the story of a Vietnam hero. It's not your usual run-of-the-mill war story because it's told from two points of view. A young soldier named Rick Hanski and a German shepherd he trained for the military share the spotlight as they recount their adventures from training camp to active duty in the jungles of Vietnam.

Cracker and Rick are paired together in training to sniff out bombs, booby-traps, and enemy soldiers.
Nov 14, 2016 hayden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
super cute. totally teary-eyed at the end.
I wasn't sure how this book would be received. It's a bit more graphic and violent than other books we've read before. But they hung on every word and as soon as we finished the book, literally, the 2 youngest asked me to read it again. Starting right then.

While this book talks a great deal about Vietnam, you need an additional source to really understand the war, especially why we entered and why we left and what that meant long-term. This is more a personal story and talks about stuff that ha
Sep 24, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who need somthing interesting to read
Cracker the best dog in vietnam is a book about a dog that is taken from her home in chicago to be trained as a military dog that has a hard time adjusting to the life swap. when she recived a new trainer Rick he would stay with her for the rest of the story...mostly. At first they go through training and meet some new people. When they get to nam they don't see alot of action but later in the story they go on a misson with the special forces wich dos't contibute to the stoy much. the next misso ...more
Hunter Kimball
Dec 20, 2016 Hunter Kimball rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good book. It wasn't my favorite book i ever read but i still was enough to make me want to read the whole thing. It's just a happy and sad book all in one about Willie the first owner of the dog having to live without Cracker because his parents are sending Cracker to Vietnam. Then the new owner rick not knowing how to train dogs makes Cracker the best dog and most known. This book is overall one of my favorites in my opinion and the end of the book is the best. I recommend th ...more
Alexandra Juarez
Nov 03, 2015 Alexandra Juarez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cracker! by Cynthia Kadohata is about a dog who sniffs bombs of the enemy. She has saved so many lives but some times she thinks about her previous owner. She had a good life before her bomb sniffing days. This is a great book. Which I recommend.
Jan 27, 2008 Kaedyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is about a dog that gets sent to vietnam she ends up being the best!this is such a great book.
Lisa Goldman
Jun 23, 2017 Lisa Goldman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My kids read this book as a Reading Olympic book and recommended it. It was a great hysterical fiction book and good discussion. I found it entertaining, well-written, and a quick read. I could sympathize with the character and dog.
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Noah F
Jan 13, 2014 Noah F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Cracker, even when things change rapidly you should adapt to whatever life throws at you. That is exactly what Rick and Cracker do throughout the book. The book starts in Chicago with a boy named Willie. Willie is a boy who loves his dog Cracker. They have been together ever since Willie was 6 months old. Cracker is an extremely smart Germain Shepard.Then they must move to an apartment because his father got laid off. The apartment does not allow dogs so, they are faced with 2 choices, send w ...more
Cameron Wall
Jan 30, 2014 Cameron Wall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a dog named Cracker. She is a german-shepard that is big and strong. She originally lived with Willy until Willy's dad lost his job and had to move into an apartment but the problem is is that the apartment doesn't allow dogs. So they send Cracker off to the military and her her dog handler is Rick. At first she was one of the worst dogs and hated Rick but eventually she learns to love and obey him. They train for sniffing out booby traps and other hazardous objects. When the ...more
Jonathan V
Sep 13, 2013 Jonathan V rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: form-i
I believe the author of this book is trying to tell a historical fiction book about courage, love, and compassion. The book was about a dog named Cracker who lives with a boy named Willy, Cracker was later sent for training in Vietnam. Cracker is tough, harmful, but a caring dog. When at the base’s kennel she was getting trained for combat. At which when she got the trainer of Rick Hanski. Rick Hanski thought it would a good idea to join the army because he thought he could “Whip the World”. The ...more
Feb 11, 2009 Destinee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the best most awsome most saspensful most eye-tearing book ever!!!!!
it's about this dog named cracker. she's a bit of a trouble maker, but is one of the smartest dogs out there. her boy willie and his parents are haveing a tought time because willie's dad just lost his job forceing the whole family to move to an apartment were they arn't aloud to have large dogs. being a full grown unusuly large germen sheperd, the land lord has given the family 1 month to get rid of her or be throw out of the a
Matthew M
Apr 17, 2013 Matthew M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Book Name: Cracker!
Pages: 308

Brief Summary: This book is about a dog named Cracker and his owner Willie are about to get separated from each other because Willie's dad lost his job so they had to move into an apartment and they had 30 days to get rid of the dog, so one day Willie is looking in this article and he sees that they need more dogs to go to Vietnam, so Willie sends Cracker to Vietnam and he gets a trainer named Rick. Rick and Cracker don
Jan 12, 2017 K27716 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book "Cracker!: The Best Dog In Vietnam" Cracker was an average house dog whose first owner would let her sleep in his bed and feed her hot dogs, all that changed when she was paired with her new handler Rick Hanski who just joined the United States Army and is heading to Vietnam. Rick will train Cracker to sniff out enemies, bombs, and traps. The fate of the whole platoon rests on her sharp sense of smell, She is a Big Deal and she loves it. The main conflict occurs when Rick and Cracker ...more
Nathan Patterson
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam was an extraordinary book. I read this book in the matter of two days only because I had to sleep, eat, and go to school. The way the author splits the book up into different perspectives, such as, Cracker’s previous owner Willie, Cracker, and Ricks; really is amazing and gives the book something a little bit different than most which keeps it interesting. Also I really adore how the author made Cracker and Rick bond, they had an amazing relationship that I coul ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Teaha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cracker1 the best dog in vietnam was pretty good, well when Rick Hanski wants to whip the world in some way and show his family that he has what it takes to be a soldier in the vietnam war. Cracker is a German shepherd who is shipped out to war to snip out bombs, drugs, traps, and the enemy but when Rick and Cracker has to team up together they also have to work up a friendship and manage to get out of war alive. with their team work and effort and a dog who just maybe thev best dog in vietnam t ...more
Lately I have seen a rash of books and movies about animals used in war--dogs, birds, etc. I think this is the first I read. It was in the kid's section at my library, so I assumed it wouldn't be too graphic. Wrong. It is exceptionally violent for a kids book. I would not have let my son read this if I had known ahead of time. It has a scene where the main character shoots someone and "his head explodes." I know it's war but for a kids book, it was graphic.
The story was so good, though. I learn
Nadya Citra
Dec 14, 2011 Nadya Citra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story about a heroic German Shepherd dog called Cracker, who went to the Vietnam War and saved lots of people's lives with her handler, Rick. This book written by Cynthia Kadohata has inspired me and make me think that I should get closer to my dog. Cracker used to be living with with an 11-year old boy named Willie, whose father lots his jobs. Willie and his family had to move into an apartment who doesn't allow dogs to be in the apartment. Though he had a hard time giving up, he had to leave ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cracker is a German Shepard, bred as a show dog, until she breaks here leg, then she becomes the pet of Willie, until his family is forced to move into an apartment that doesn't allow pets. Willie finds an ad that advertises the need for dogs to be trained and serve in Vietnam as bomb sniffing, booby traps etc. She is paired with Rick a 17 yr old to serve in the Infantry Platoon Scout Dog. While Cracker doesn't forget Willie, but bonds well with Rick. When Rick is wounded during a battle, Cracke ...more
May 25, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book that I read with my kids and we all openly cried. We read this book for a school reading assignment. It was helpful in learning more about Vietnam. My father served there but did not talk about it very much. This gave us a little window of perspective into that world and time. I did edit out a few swear words but it is a book about war so that was expected. If you are an animal lover, this book will touch your heart in more way than one. I think this is a very well writte ...more
Mar 03, 2010 Alec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book Cracker it is about a dog named Cracker who lives with an only child Willy and his Mom and Dad. They move into a Chicago apartment which doesn't allow dogs so that means they have to get rid of her. If they don't get rid of her in 30 days then he has to go to the army. They don't get rid of her in 30 days so he goes to the army. She meets a lot of friends that are Humans and dogs. read this book and see what happens in war. Does she survive or die? Who ever likes war books i recommen ...more
Ian Galbraoth
May 20, 2013 Ian Galbraoth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an amazing writing by Cynthia Kadohata. I love this book a TON and can't wait for more of her writings. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 because it was just the perfect book for people like me. When cracker has to leave Willie they both knew it would be hard. Cracker is then forced to go to Vietnam to fight in the war. Rick keeps saying they will whip the world but things aren't looking too good... I absolutely loved this book because of the wording the author used to describe th ...more
Dec 17, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cold-war
This was an enjoyable and quick read. The author did a great job bouncing back and forth between the human and dog perspectives. I appreciated the historical connections, but sometimes it felt as if the author had taken on a little bit too much, or the story need to be extended to add depth. This made some important themes feel as if they were just being touched on as part of a historical check list and a little thin. The story was a nice introduction to some of the basics about Vietnam and Crac ...more
Hunter Alexander
This book about a German Shepard Army dog with a historical twist was one of the best books I have read all year! The book is about Cracker the dog, and her handler/owner Rick and their adventure in Vietnam. They face soldiers, dangerous missions, and the chance to be split from each other. In the end some of Cracker's dog friends end up dead and that was very sad. However, it was still a great friendship book. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Arpit Dhawan
May 01, 2015 Arpit Dhawan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was interesting and I also was impressed that a dog was really good to fight in a deathly war. I also think that it was also sad and scary. One thing that was sad was that Willy had to give the dog cracker away because Willy had to move into the apartment. So overall it was great.
Student Kyle
May 01, 2015 Student Kyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the ups and downs of this book and I think I could make a cool movie ( but I am not sure how crackers thoughts would be communicated) it is a really interesting point of view and i wonder if dogs really have the ability to perceive situations like cracker does. This is a great book and I would recommend to people who like war books and or animal books.
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Cynthia Kadohata is a Japanese American writer known for writing coming of age stories about Asian American women.

She spent her early childhood in the South; both her first adult novel and first children's novel take place in Southern states. Her first adult novel was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Her first children's book, Kira-Kira, won the 2005 Newbery Medal. Her first published s
More about Cynthia Kadohata...

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