Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge is a tween novel about a family affected by the Vietnam War. Tracy lives with her "new" mother and father and is adjusting to life in America after coming to them from Vietnam. Now Tracy and her friend have found a dogtag and ammo box in her father's possessions. Tracy is curious about these things; after all, Vietnam affected her, too. However, her father doesn't want to talk about his experiences in Vietnam, and Tracy continues to recollect various memories of her life before she came to America.
Partridge is able to share a story of two different people who were affected by the war. Tracy's father was an American GI, and her mother Vietnamese. The children who were "half-breeds" suffered discrimination in their home country and were not accepted. They also were not always accepted in the United States as people harbored bad feelings toward the Vietnamese people. Partridge is able to convey this as well as the negative attitudes many had toward American soldiers. Tracy's friend, Stargazer's father is upset when she shows up with the dogtag and refers to Tracy's father as a "babykiller." Tween readers will get a better understanding of the attitudes the war evoked after reading Dogtag Summer.
This is an enjoyable and interesting tween read about a period in American history that most tween readers will not be familiar with.