Max: Best Friend. Hero. Marine
June 09, 2015
Now a major motion picture, this movie novelization tells the story of a canine hero. When Justin's older brother, Kyle, is killed in Afghanistan, Justin can't believe that his brother is really gone. Except there's one thing that Kyle left behind…. Max is a highly trained military canine who has always protected his fellow soldiers. But when he loses his handler and best friend, Kyle, Max is traumatized and unable to remain in the service. He is sent home to America, where the only human he connects with is Justin, and he is soon adopted by Kyle's family, essentially saving his life. At first Justin has no interest in taking care of his late brother's troubled dog. However, the two learn to trust each other, which helps the four-legged veteran become his heroic self once more. As the pair start to unravel the mystery of what really happened to Kyle, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for. But they might also find an unlikely new best friend—in each other.
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This had a lot to recommend it to reluctant readers who are interested in the military. There are enough details about Kyle and Tyler's experiences, as well as the father's, to keep those readers interested, but there is also a lot about the military dogs. Justin isn't the most likable character at first, mainly because he is so angry at so many people, but this, too, will speak to some readers. The ending, with its action and adventure, keeps this from getting bogged down in sentimentality.
A good companion to C. Alex London's Dog Tags series, this is a good fiction book to combine with informational texts about service dogs, such as Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Dogs on Duty: Soldier's Best Friends on the Battle and Beyond.
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