CALL ME FRANCIS TUCKET

Francis, 14, is alone on the frontier. In Mr. Tucket (1969) he was captured by Indians, rescued by the mountain man Mr. Grimes, and learned to survive. He continues his journey westward across the endless prairie, hoping to find his parents in a wagon train headed for Oregon. Along the way he is beset by thieves, caught in a buffalo stampede, and adopted by two young children whose father has died of cholera and who have been abandoned by the fearful adults in their wagon train. Characteristic of all Paulsen's works, the narrative flow is smooth and uncluttered, the action gritty and realistic, the story thrilling. This one reads like the second book of a trilogy; it starts in the middle and doesn't go anywhere, and familiarity with the first book is mandatory. But if Call Me Francis Tucket is unsatisfying on its own, like good serial fiction, it will make readers eager to find out what happens next, and hope a third book is in the offing. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: June 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-385-32116-3

Page Count: 97

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1995

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A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish.

THE MECHANICAL MIND OF JOHN COGGIN

The dreary prospect of spending a lifetime making caskets instead of wonderful inventions prompts a young orphan to snatch up his little sister and flee. Where? To the circus, of course.

Fortunately or otherwise, John and 6-year-old Page join up with Boz—sometime human cannonball for the seedy Wandering Wayfarers and a “vertically challenged” trickster with a fantastic gift for sowing chaos. Alas, the budding engineer barely has time to settle in to begin work on an experimental circus wagon powered by chicken poop and dubbed (with questionable forethought) the Autopsy. The hot pursuit of malign and indomitable Great-Aunt Beauregard, the Coggins’ only living relative, forces all three to leave the troupe for further flights and misadventures. Teele spins her adventure around a sturdy protagonist whose love for his little sister is matched only by his fierce desire for something better in life for them both and tucks in an outstanding supporting cast featuring several notably strong-minded, independent women (Page, whose glare “would kill spiders dead,” not least among them). Better yet, in Boz she has created a scene-stealing force of nature, a free spirit who’s never happier than when he’s stirring up mischief. A climactic clutch culminating in a magnificently destructive display of fireworks leaves the Coggin sibs well-positioned for bright futures. (Illustrations not seen.)

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish. (Adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234510-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

Coming soon!!

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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