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Podcast Podcast

Episode 40 — Honoring Veterans Day


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
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Duration 15:54
Original Air Date Published November 01, 2011

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverDogtag Summer
Author: Elizabath Partridge
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2011




When Tracy was six, she was brought over from Vietnam to the United States as an orphan and adopted by two loving parents. As far as 12-year-old Tracy knows, that’s her story, but then one day something changes. Tracy starts having flashbacks about her life in Vietnam. She sees pieces of her former life: her grandmother, her mother, her uncle, and the permeating fear of the war. All of these flashbacks bring questions to the surface about who she is.

On top of that her father, who is a Vietnam veteran, seems to have secrets of his own. When Tracy and her friend Stargazer find an ammo box containing a dogtag from the war, it starts Tracy and her father on a collision course toward the truth. Tracy finally discovers who she is and why these parents adopted her. As Tracy and her parents face a difficult and painful truth, they begin to understand that the truth can also bring healing and hope.


book coverInside Out and Back Again
Author: Thanhha Lai
Publisher: Harper, 2011




This book tells the story of Ha, a 10-year old girl, and her family who flee their home in Saigon after the Vietnam War.  Told from Ha’s perspective through a collection of free verse poems, readers experience her move from her beloved home through her first year in Alabama as she learns the language and customs of a strange new land. Some of Ha’s experiences will make you laugh out loud, like when she tries to decipher the illogical rules of our language. And some will make you cringe, like the intolerance of the pink-faced boy. But all of Ha’s experiences will draw you in and make you root for this courageous and smart girl.


book coverMe & Jack
Author: Danette Haworth
Publisher: Walker & Company, 2011




As the son of an air force recruiter, Joshua has experienced his fair share of moves and the challenges they bring. And as the son of an air force recruiter during the Vietnam War, he and his dad experience their fair share of anger from other people. This move to Pennsylvania is no different, except this time Joshua’s dad decides Joshua needs a dog. Joshua finds the perfect dog at the pound, and pretty soon Joshua and his dog, Jack, are inseparable. The only problem is Alan Prater, the meanest and richest kid in town, takes an instant disliking to Joshua and Jack. And to make matters worse, something is attacking animals in town during the night, and everyone thinks that it is Jack. Joshua is out to prove everyone wrong because if he doesn’t, he will lose Jack.


book coverPatrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam
Author: Walter Dean Myers

Illustration: Ann Grifalconi
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2011

Through free verse, Myers takes readers on a forest patrol with a U.S. soldier during the Vietnam War. Myers masterfully builds suspense as the soldier walks deeper and deeper into the forest until he comes eye to eye with his enemy. The collages add dimension to this narrative poem that will make you feel this soldier's fear, loneliness, and inner turmoil about a difficult war.


book coverThe Wall
Author: Eve Bunting
Publisher: Sandpiper, 1992


In this picture book, a father takes his young son to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to find his grandfather’s name on the wall. While the father is looking for his father’s name, his son observes all the different people that also have come to the wall to honor those who served in the Vietnam War. This book is a nice read-aloud for elementary-aged children on Veteran’s Day.

Expert Chat

Listen in as Emily chats with author Elizabeth Partridge. Elizabeth discusses the characters in her book Dogtag Summer in depth and explains how the idea for Dogtag Summer originated.