Kirby Larson has written several wonderful historical novels for young people -- Hattie Big Sky (which received the Newbery Honor) and its sequel Hattie Ever After, The Friendship Doll, The Fences Between Us (in the Dear America series). She also wrote Duke, which earned a spot on Hoover Public Library's 2013 Best of the Best list. It tells the story of a boy named Hobie Hanson. His father is flying B-24s in Europe during World War II, and Hobie wants to do what he can to help the war effort. So he donates his beloved German shepherd, Duke, to Dogs for Defense. When Hobie learns that Duke is being trained for combat, he gets scared and makes every attempt to get his dog back home safely.
I'm happy to report that Kirby Larson's newest book, Dash, is another dog story set during World War II. Matsi Kashino and her dog Dash are separated when Matsi's family is forced into an internment camp following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Life in the camp is crowded and hard, and she misses her dog terribly. A friendly neighbor back home keeps Matsi updated on Dash, but will they ever be reunited? And will life ever go back to normal? I look forward to slipping into Matsi's world when I read her book. Learning about the past helps you make good decisions in the present and leads to a better future.