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Letters From Wolfie

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  506 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Mark’s dog Wolfie is part malamute, part German shepherd, and all heart. Mark can hardly imagine life without his big, loving canine companion. But in 1969, the Vietnam War is still raging, and when Mark learns that the army needs scout dogs, he decides to send Wolfie. As his dad says, a smart dog like Wolfie could save a lot of soldiers—soldiers like Mark’s brother, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by Puffin Books (first published 2004)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Why I read it: This book is on our historical fiction "Recommended Reading" list for the sixth grade. One of my students checked it out and brought it home. Next thing we knew there was a parent complaint because the book mentioned the term "reproductive processes" and Playboy. My director asked me if I'd read the book and since I hadn't, I told her I would right away. I also checked reviews.

The result: Letters From Wolfie is a beautiful story about a boy who donates his dog to the US army
Kaida Ashia
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Letters From Wolfie is a relatively short story about a thirteen year old boy named Mark who (mostly out of envy) sends his beloved dog Wolfie to help the army in Vietnam without really knowing much about what he has done, all he knows is it gets his older brother (who is a soldier already) out of the spotlight for a little while and gives him a few moments of glory. However when he finds out that dogs are targeted by the enemy for a hefty price he digs deeper into what goes on in Vietnam
Dennis Counard
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
In this book a young boy has gotten a dog and has owned him for about 3 to 4 years now. The boys older brother had just left for war and was now at base camp, they had been keeping in touch through letters. One day his brother had sent a letter and in the letter his brother had said that they had needed a military dog and was wondering if he could have Wolfie. James did not know if he wanted to lose Wolfie, and never see him again. He had finally made up his mind and decided to send Wolfie to ...more
CIP: It's 1969 and America is deeply divided over the war in Vietnam. Yet when thirteen-year-old Mark donates his dog, Wolfie, to the Army's scout program, he feels sure he's doing the right thing. After all, his dad is a WWII veteran, and his older brother Danny is serving in Vietnam. But although Wolfie's handler sends letters detailing Wolfie's progress, the Army won't say when and -or if - Wolfie and the other dogs will be returned to their owners. As Danny's letters home become increasingly ...more
Jarrett Blake
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it

Summary of the Book

The book takes place in 1969 during the Vietnam war. When America was being beaten badly and was in drastic need of assistance. With that being the case they were begging people to help in any way possible. But some rather interesting and sad events took place in a town with a boy and his dog. The boy’s name is Mark and the dog Wolfie they were inseparable those two. But Mark’s older brother Danny was in the army and that changed everything. Because when Danny joined the army
Ciara Kong
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
My Review: I have had my eye on this book for a while and finally went ahead and picked it up. It was a bit of a slow read and was rather depressing, in fact I had to put it down for a while. With that said, there were several very important points and subjects contained within this book. It is a great middle grade book in the fact that it doesn't pull any punches, while it doesn't get into the full graphic facts of war, particularly the Vietnam war, it does show the reader many of the harder ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The only item that would have been appreciated is an appendix listing resources for later.
I would like to know more about the current policy on treatment and use of animals by the armed forces.
As mentioned the dogs were considered as equiment.
I very much enjoyed reading Letters from Wolfie, although I cried my eyes out in more that one chapter. While its for readers, ages 10 and up, I believe adults would really like the book.
Please see kirkus reviews for more about the book at:
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love the perspective this one comes from. Will make a great (albeit terribly sad) read aloud this school year.
Gavin Peters
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
i would recommend this book to all dog lovers but it is also super sad but overall it was a very good book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Burdett
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it

Mark loves his dog, Wolfie. Wolfie is a German Shepherd/ Malamute mix. The year is 1969--the Military is recruiting people and dogs to fight in the Vietnam War.
Danny, Mark’s brother, fought in the Vietnam War. After Danny leaves, Mark wonders if sending Wolfie away was the right thing for the country since they are in need of dogs. Later, Mark tells his class he sent away his dog to help fight in the war. His parents think he is right but this girl, Claire lectures him about giving Wolfie
Mark Cantrell donates his beloved dog, Wolfie to the army during the Vietnam conflict. Danny, his older brother, who is serving his country in the war, told Mark about the heroic ways dogs were saving lives. Mark believes he is doing his patriotic duty. Wolfie, friendly and loving, has ups and downs in training, as Mark learns about his progress from his handler, Tucker Smalley. Mark begins to have doubts about his sacrifice when he reads accounts of other dogs in the army. Dogs are viewed as ...more
Miss Amanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debra Slonek
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, read-in-2011
A wonderful and yet heart-breaking story which takes place during the Vietnam War. It is centered aroung a family of four and those who know them and care for them. At first, the entire family is very supportive of the war, but as they lived through difficult experiences caused by the war, some of the support changed to opposition. The oldest son joined the war . He came home as a changed man, both physically and emotionally. Mark, the youngest boy, donated his beloved dog, Wolfie to be trained ...more
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This moving story brings together the emotions of the Vietnam era with the need to serve your country. Mark is thirteen and has always lived in the shadow of his brother who is serving in Vietnam. When his brother, Danny, tells of a need for service dogs, Mark impulsively volunteers to send his much loved dog, Wolfie, to the army. His initial yearnings to impress those adults who are so taken with Danny is replaced with the regret that he feels over losing his best friend. Believing that Wolfie ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The author of the book wolfie is Patti Sherlock. This book has 228 pages. The characters are mom, dad, Brother, Mark and alot of others. This book is about a young boy and his dog. His brother just went to the army and and mark heard they needed dogs. So he thought it would be good to send wolfie. 1 week after mark's brother went to the army Mark sent wolfie. So he did stuff wich was boring it got queit around the house. Then he gets news that after war is done the owner can't have their dog ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book because it represents sacrifice of life for the greatest country in the world. If you give your life for this country, you completed the greatest mission you were given to complete. The story starts off with a boy who adopts a dog from the animal shelter and he raises the dog like any other human being does. When Wolfie gets a bit older, Marks' brother, Danny, registers for the Vietnam war. Once Danny leaves, Mark is thinking about sending Wolfie to war. My least favorite ...more
Angela Vara
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
letters from wolfie was an exciting and heartwarming book. its a touching tale of a boy growing up and about the war. In 1969 the war is strong and marks brother danny is in the war so he sends him mark is heatbroken. This book made you want to cry and smile at the same time becuase marks brother and now his dog were in the war and he had to worry about two lives now that were very important to him. there is alot of sacrafice of how mark had to give up his dog even though he wanted to keep him ...more
Deborah D.
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers interested in Military Working Dogs, coming of age stories, the Vietnam War era
Recommended to Deborah by: 10 yr old niece and 12 yr old nephew
Shelves: child-youth, fic-dog
Wow, what a tear-jerker. I admit I am a sucker for 'boy and his dog' stories, but this one is special.

Set in the Vietnam War era and focused on the journey of a young boy (Mark) with his beloved, rambunctious rescue dog (Wolfie). As his older brother, Danny enlisted in the Army and convined Mark that he could make a contribution to the war effort by donating Wolfie to the military.

The tensions between Marks parents, lifestyle changes when his mother gets a part-time job at the library, his
Abby Johnson
Feb 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
After his brother joins the army and is sent to Vietnam, Mark sends his dog Wolfie to help the war effort. When he realizes that the army does not intend to send Wolfie home after his term of service, Mark gets involved in war protests that nearly tear his family apart. He meets people who think the war might not be such a good idea and Mark starts to question everything he's always taken for granted. It's a great, great book about a boy starting to grow up and think for himself. Warning: the ...more
After Danny goes to Vietnam, his brother Mark decides to volunteer his dog Wolfie to the US Army scout service. As Wolfie goes through training and then to Vietnam, Mark (and the other characters) questions the war.

Vietnam and dogs aren't my go-to subject headings for books. That being said, this one is better written on the topic than I thought at the start. It covers a difficult and almost always heavy-handed topic rather well; most sides are addressed without caricatures. The book is neither
2009 Rebecca Caudill nominee. I liked this book for it’s realism and the way it addressed complex issues surrounding the Vietnam War. The family in the book struggled with having an older son go off to fight in Vietnam and then donating their pet to be used as a scout dog for the army. They felt it was their patriotic duty and then struggled with doubt as they learned more about the war and the sacrifices they had made as a family. Mark, the families younger son, started to write letters to ...more
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mark has a brother over seas in the Vietnam war. The army needs dogs and Mark has a dog named Wolfie.

Reasons I like this book-

Reason 1- Wolfie is a playful dog. He knows when a person needs playtime.

Reason 2- After Mark sends Wolfie into the army, he tries to find out were will Wolfie go after he has served the army. Mark finds out they have no real plan for the dogs and decides to hold a protest for all the dogs.

Reason 3- The book made me think, "How do dogs know when a person needs extra
Hope Ericson
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wjhs, fiction, mystery
I really liked the book Letters From Wolfie. It explained what war families go through when they send their son or daughter off to war. Mark, the main character, and his dog, Wolfie, had to watch Mark's brother go into the Vietnam War. Soon after, Mark, had sent Wolfie into the army. My favorite part was when Mark and his friend, Claire, had come up with a protest to help get Wolfie back. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about animals.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good book! It was really heart-loving and nice in just the right way. It's about a dog and his owner, a boy who sends him off to Vietnam so Wolfie (the dog) can become a war dog to help save soldiers. Of course it's about a dog, so Wolfie dies at the end. It's really a good book, historical fiction, and a good read. It makes you want to turn the pages, but not in a 'action' sort of way. I loved it, and it was really a great read.
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristen by: Rebecca Caudill Nominee 2009
Set during the Vietnam War, a boy decides to send his dog to fight because his brother in Vietnam says they need them. By the time Wolfie is in training, he regrets sending his dog, but it is too late. The soldier with Wolfie sends frequent letters, more frequent than his own brother. Overall, the story was a bit sad and very hard to take at times. Really puts you in the scene of Vietnam from both a civilian and solider point of view.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanne by: Rebecca Caudill
Shelves: rebecca-caudill
This is a 2009 Rebecca Caudill. Since I don't like war books, and I'm not crazy about dog books either, I was surprised that I enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy read, yet dealt with very complicated feelings about the Vietnam War in a way that upper elementary/middle schoolers could grasp. Students may relate to this a little better now, than ten years ago, due to the comparison to families with soldiers in Iraq.
Tess Anderson
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Letters from Wolfie by Patti Sherlock leaves the reader with a sense of sacrifice. In this book we learn how it takes courage to send someone or something you love into war. The book starts off slow but once I got into the story I couldn't put the book down! If you like books that make you think or feel then this is the book for you!
Petra Be
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
At the beginning of the book, I thought it would be just a simple brainwashing story about a jealous teenage kid who donated his dog to the army thinking it would make him popular, claiming it was a very unselfish act (unselfish, my eye)... but it turned out to be more complicated and not bad at all in the end.
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letters from wolfie 1 14 Mar 18, 2009 10:19AM  

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