Billie has lived with her great-aunt ever since her mom passed away and her dad left. Billie's big brother, Leo, is about to leave, too, for the warfront. But first, she gets one more weekend with him at the ranch.
Billie's surprised when Leo brings home a fellow Marine from boot camp, Denny. She has so much to ask Leo -- about losing her best friend and trying to find their father -- but Denny, who is Navajo, or Diné, comes with something special: a gorgeous, but injured, stray dog. As Billie cares for the dog, whom they name Bear, she and Bear grow deeply attached to each other.
Soon enough, it's time for Leo and Denny, a Navajo Code Talker, to ship out. Billie does her part for the war effort, but she worries whether Leo and Denny will make it home, whether she'll find a new friend, and if her father will ever come back. Can Bear help Billie -- and Denny -- find what's most important?
A powerful tale about unsung heroism on the WWII battlefield and the home front.
About the Author
Kirby Larson is the acclaimed author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky; its sequel, Hattie Ever After; The Friendship Doll; Dear America: The Fences Between Us; Duke; Dash, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; Liberty; Code Word Courage; Audacity Jones to the Rescue; and its sequel, Audacity Jones Steals the Show. She has also co-written the award-winning picture books Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle. She lives in Washington with her husband and Winston the Wonder Dog.
Praise for Code Word Courage:
"With background research, including interviews with Navajo code talkers, and a knack for generating a heartwarming, genuine story, Larson seamlessly weaves the lives of the characters into the fabric of the 1944-45 home front setting." -- Booklist
"Remarkable, engaging and highly enjoyable historical fiction for young adults as well as all readers." -- Historical Novel Society
"A story of loneliness, loss, friendship, and identity." -- School Library Journal
"World War II continues to be a topic that fascinates young readers, and Code Word Courage will keep those obsessed with the era reading happily." -- YA Books Central
Praise for Liberty:
* "Larson once again creates an engaging story that is rich in historical details. She purposefully captures both the fear and the hope in a world torn by war as well as the simple love of a boy for his dog. Practically perfect." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A slice-of-life tale for historical fiction fans and animal lovers alike." -- School Library Journal
"Larson brings the historical setting to life with vivid details and draws readers into the story with a heartfelt dog-and-child relationship." -- Horn Book
Praise for Dash:
Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
* "Emotionally satisfying and thought-provoking." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "[A] trenchant novel." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Historical fiction at its best." -- School Library Journal
Praise for Duke:
* "Exceptionally well-crafted and emotionally authentic." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "[An] incisive tale of loyalty, patriotism, sacrifice, and bravery." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A good example of how bravery comes in all shapes, sizes -- and breeds." -- Booklist
Praise for Audacity Jones to the Rescue:
* "Larson's thriller deftly mixes humor, heart-pounding moments, and a strongly evoked historical setting -- it's truly a story with something for everyone." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "The story's themes of trust, friendship, and good manners will resonate with many. Audacity's charm and smarts make this historical adventure a winner." -- Booklist, starred review
"Larson infuses her romp with plenty of humor, making Audacity, her cat, and friends into lively, likable characters. With characteristic deftness, she weaves her historical material seamlessly into the story; Audacity is a modern girl.... Clever, funny, and sweet in equal measures." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will cheer Audacity's ingenuity and bravery as they relish every moment of her adventures. Highly recommended." -- School Library Journal
Praise for Audacity Jones Steals the Show:
"A suspenseful little mystery with heart." -- Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Hattie Big Sky:
A Newbery Honor Recipient
* "[An] engaging historical novel... [Larson] creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters." -- Booklist, starred review
* "Larson... create[s] a masterful picture of the homesteading experience and the people who persevered." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"Refreshing." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books