TUCKER by Tom Birdseye

TUCKER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tucker's comfortable routine is upset when the younger sister he hasn't seen in years comes to stay with him and his father. When Olivia bounds into Tucker's life with a wide grin, constant chatter, and a plan to reunite their parents, Tucker--a silent 11-year-old--sullenly withdraws to his secret woods retreat, where he fancies himself a member of ""The Tribe"" and prepares to kill a deer as a test of manhood. Olivia charms everyone, even beginning to draw Tucker from his shell until he intercepts a letter and learns that Olivia has been lying: their parents are still far apart. After a furious confrontation, Tucker grabs his homemade bow, stalks off, and shoots a deer. Its painful, bloody death shocks him out of fantasy and youth, allowing him to accept both sister and family situation. On the whole, Birdseye handles Tucker's coming-of-age well. The characters themselves are less believable: the children sometimes speak and act beyond their years, and their well-intentioned (and well-educated) father is so shiftless that it's a question where money for a home and two cars comes from. In sum: an introspective, rather rough-hewn story of a boy's belated adjustment to his parents' divorce.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1990
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Holiday House