Samantha's Reviews > Dogtag Summer

Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge
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May 08, 2011

really liked it

A historical fiction novel that takes place in 1980 in California and consists of memories that take place in 1975 in Vietnam. Tracy is blindsided by memories of her life in Vietnam and spends the summer trying to sort out her past and make sense of the present. The plot thickens when she and her friend Stargazer find an ammo box and a dogtag amongst her dad's things. Tensions soar as Tracy tries to investigate her old life and encounters resistance from her parents, especially her dad who was a soldier in Vietnam and is struggling to deal with his own ghosts. An engaging fast read, but one that I would recommend for older elementary students (grades 4-6) due to the content. There is one scene involving the main character in a scene of violence (threatened w/ a knife) that might bother some readers. The author includes an appendix with questions relating to the content of the book and the time period in which the story takes place, which makes for good discussion. All in all, a thought-provoking, informative read that explores identity and family dynamics set against a backdrop rich with history and politics.
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