The Trouble with Tuck [NOOK Book]

Overview

Available for the first time in a Yearling edition, the classic, inspiring story of a dog who triumphs against all odds, by the bestselling author of The Cay.

Helen adored her beautiful golden Labrador from the first moment he was placed in her arms, a squirming fat sausage of creamy yellow fur. As her best friend, Friar Tuck waited daily for Helen to come home from school ...
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The Trouble with Tuck

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Overview

Available for the first time in a Yearling edition, the classic, inspiring story of a dog who triumphs against all odds, by the bestselling author of The Cay.

Helen adored her beautiful golden Labrador from the first moment he was placed in her arms, a squirming fat sausage of creamy yellow fur. As her best friend, Friar Tuck waited daily for Helen to come home from school and play. He guarded her through the long, scary hours of the dark night. Twice he even saved her life.

Now it's Helen's turn. No one can say exactly when Tuck began to go blind. Probably the light began to fail for him long before the alarming day when he raced after some cats and crashed through the screen door, apparently never seeing it. But from that day on, Tuck's trouble--and how to cope with it--becomes the focus of Helen's life. Together they fight the chain that holds him and threatens to break his spirit, until Helen comes up with a solution so new, so daring, there's no way it can fail.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

A young girl trains her blind dog to follow and trust a seeing-eye companion dog.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Helen's best friend is Tuck, a loving, playful golden Labrador. They go everywhere together. He brings her out of her shell and is the catalyst for her increasing self-confidence. Twice, he saves her life. When Tuck is three years old, Helen discovers he is having trouble with his sight. The vet confirms that Tuck is going blind. Two options offered by the vet; putting Tuck down or giving him to medical researchers; are rejected by the whole family. Desperate, Helen contacts a guide dog school, but is turned down. After Tuck is hit by a car, his days of freedom and wandering the neighborhood must be replaced with confinement to the yard. Chaining Tuck could break his spirit--and Helen's. Enter Lady Daisy, a retired Seeing Eye dog. With the help of Lady Daisy and a book about elephants, Helen is able to train Tuck to depend on this canine friend to be his new eyes. Based on a true story, every animal lover can appreciate this tale of shared devotion and love. The hardback edition won the 1984 California Young Reader Medal and the 1985-86 Iowa Children's Choice Award. 2000 (orig. 1981), Dell/Yearling,
From the Publisher
"Moving and heart-warming."--The Horn Book Magazine
"A great animal story. . . . Don't miss it."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307548344
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/16/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 388,404
  • Age range: 10 years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Theodore Taylor has written other award-winning books, including The Cay and Tuck Triumphant.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

No one can definitely say when Friar Tuck began to go blind, not even Dr. Douglas Tobin, who was undoubtedly one of the best veterinarians in California. But the light probably began to fail for big Tuck long before any of us suspected it, and of course, being a dog, he couldn't very well talk about it.

I suppose that exactly when the shadows began creeping in, or when he finally slid into total darkness, doesn't really matter.

Yet I can clearly recall that miserably hot summer day so long ago when we first thought something might be wrong with Tuck. It didn't seem possible. Young, beautiful, so free-spirited, he had a long life ahead.

But the August of Tuck's third year on earth, my father, an electronics engineer, flew to Chicago on business, and the next day, a Monday, about midmorning, some neighborhood cats got into a noisy brawl along our back fence, spitting and screeching.

To Friar Tuck that was always an unpardonable sin. Not only were these cats intruding in his yard, a private and sacred kingdom, but, worse, they were creating an ear-splitting disturbance. His answer was immediate attack, as usual.

My mother was in the kitchen at the time and heard him scramble on the slick linoleum, trying to get traction with his paws, and as she turned, she saw him plunge bodily through the screen door, ripping a gaping hole in the wire mesh.

Up in my room, making my bed as I remember, I heard her yell, something she seldom did, and, thinking she'd hurt herself, I hurried downstairs and out to the kitchen.

Mother was standing by the back door, looking outside, puzzlement all over her face, which was usually a mirror of calmness. She still had her hand on top of her head, having forgotten it was there. Putting fingers to her hair was a familiar gesture when calamity occurred.

"Tuck just went through this door," she exclaimed, unable to believe it. The hand came down slowly. I declare." She was a Southern lady but had lost most of her way of speaking.

I then saw the big hole in the wire, as if something had exploded there.

"Some cats were fighting, and he got up and ran right through the door." Mother was awed.

I was sure that Tuck was far too intelligent to do a stupid thing like that. He'd always put on skidding brakes and just barked loudly if there was something outside disturbing him.

I said, "Maybe he was dreaming?"

Mother scoffed, "Helen!"

All right, he wasn't dreaming. He'd done a very dumb thing.

I looked out at him, thinking about excuses.

Tuck was sitting innocently on his powerful haunches in the grass, that dignified lionlike head pointed skyward. He seemed to be sniffing the air as if to make certain the squabbling cats had departed. To be sure, he wasn't concerned about any whopping hole in the screen door.

My mother shook her head and went outside, quickly going down the short flight of back steps and crossing over to him, maybe to scold him properly. He deserved it.

I followed her.

As she approached Tuck, his thick tail began to wag, switching back and forth across the grass like a scythe. She said, "You silly dog, you just broke the door," leaning over to take his big yellow-haired head into her slender hands and examine his eyes. She bit her lip and frowned.

Wondering why she'd done that, I had the strangest feeling.

Mother straightened up, still frowning widely.

"Why did you do that?" I asked. "Look at him that way?"

"Well, he acted as though he didn't even see the door."

Now it was my time. "Mother," I scoffed.

Then I went over and peered down into his eyes. To me, they were the same as they had been for more than three years -- liquid deep brown with dark pools in the center. They were so expressive, in laughter or sadness.

"Have you noticed anything different about Tuck lately?"' Mother asked.

"What do you mean?" He hadn't been sick or anything thin& to my knowledge.

"Oh, just anything different."

Offhand, I said, "No."

But there was something, now that I thought about it. I glanced into the acacia trees at the back of our deep lot. Doves often roosted up there, cooing in the day hours, and then they'd drop down to the yard and peck around. Tuck had always chased them, in rousing good fun and fair game, never catching one. They'd fly up and scatter, terrified of the bounding dog with the deep-throated bark. He loved to do it.

However, a while back, maybe three months earlier, the doves had suddenly turned defiant, I'd noticed. They'd begun to parade brazenly across the backyard. And I'd also noticed that Tuck wasn't going after them anymore. Maybe he was just bored with them, I thought. Or maybe the doves knew something that we didn't. I didn't want to think about that.

I said, "He's quit chasing the doves."

My mother's laugh was hollow. "I don't know what that means."

"Neither do I," I said. Maybe he was just lazy in the heat.

She sighed and went back to the door and stood there for a moment, staring at it, then shook her head and went on inside.

Thinking about the crazy thing that had happened in the morning, I took Tuck for his regular afternoon walk that humid day, paying special attention to what he did. That turned out to be absolutely useless because he did the same old dog things he always did -- sniffing his way by the telephone poles and fire hydrants when we were going along the sidewalk; more sniffing and running and endless leg lifting in the park, branding his territory.

The Trouble With Tuck. Copyright © by Theodore Taylor. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    Best Book Ever

    This book was so tuching. It is the sadest book I've ever read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2000

    Touching

    I was looking for a book for my fourth grade students when I read this book. Although everyone may not be as deeply touched as I was, I found this story sensitive, different, and lasting in my memory. As a dog lover, I could relate to the relationship between the young girl and her dog. The plot of the young girl's self-esteem was as intriguing as the plot of Tuck's trouble. --I couldn't put it down.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Fantastic

    This book is very touching and really makes you think and wonder about being blind.i absoluty love this book it is great.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    Amazing

    What a touching story. I couldn't put it down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Heartfelt

    Very thoughtful,moveing,and it made me think how much I love my dogs Stella and Steeler
    By,Katie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Good

    It was sad

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Suspenseful

    AMAZING!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Great Book!

    I had to read for summer reading. It was a great story and super fast to read. I recommend this book to anyone who has a dog and loves a dog!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is very touching.This book is about a dog that goes blind and his owner, helen, helps him. She's had him since he was a puppy

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2002

    Such a happy and sad story

    I think this book was a very excellent book. Besides the part where Helen found out the dog was going blind, it was great!!! I thought the best part about it was when the dog saves her life two times.(I wish I had a dog like that!) I think this is one of the coolest and best books yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If i could, I would give it ******************************************************************************************************...that many stars and probably maybe even a million because I just really love dogs!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Story

    This book was so sad. But a the end it was very happy. To tell you the truth i didnt get the ending but i think its because i rushed thourgh it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2013

    It is 1956, and thirteen-year-old Helen Ogden, who has thick gla

    It is 1956, and thirteen-year-old Helen Ogden, who has thick glasses, braces, and frizzy hair, lives at 911 W. Cheltenham Dr., in the aging Montclair Park section of Los Angeles, CA, with her father, an engineer; mother, a teacher; two older brothers, Stan and Luke; and golden Labrador retriever named Friar Tuck Golden Boy, or just Tuck for short. In the three years that Helen has had Tuck, he has saved her life twice, once from an attacker while walking the dog in a fog-shrouded park and the other from drowning when she hit her head while diving in a friend’s swimming pool. But there is one “trouble with Tuck.”

    One day, Tuck goes to chase some cats out of the Ogdens’ back yard and runs right through the screen door as if he didn’t even see it. Their veterinarian, Dr. Douglas Tobin, tells the Ogdens that Tuck has developed retinal atrophy, or the disintegration of both retinas; in other words, he is going blind, and there is no known treatment. What will happen to Tuck? Will he have to be put down? Will he be given for experimental purposes to the university at Davis where researchers are working hard on retinal atrophy? Will Helen just run away to her Uncle Ray’s cabin at Lake Angeles and take Tuck with her? Or is there another possible option? Author Theodore Taylor, who also wrote the bestselling novel The Cay, based his story about Tuck and Helen on true events.

    As to language issues, Luke refers to Tuck as “Poopy,” and Helen’s mom uses the interjection “Lordy” once, but there is neither cursing nor outright profanity. Not even any common euphemisms are found. One thing that I did notice is that Helen, who narrates the story, says that when she learned of Tuck’s problem she prayed for the first time in a long time and that while she had done a lot of double finger crossing in her lifetime, she had not done much praying. This would seem to imply that the Ogdens were not a very religious family. Also, Helen doesn’t always tell the truth to her parents as she tries to figure out what to do about Tuck. But in general, the book is well-written and pleasant to read. Dog lovers will especially enjoy it. So many children’s books about dogs end with a lot of sadness, but this one concludes with triumph and joy. Also, it is good to see Helen’s own growth in self-confidence from being shy and feeling ugly as she learns how to handle the “trouble with Tuck.”

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Hi

    Love it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Where is the scavenger hunt?

    Nothings here!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 4, 2013

    A very good story about a blind dog that gets a guide dog of his

    A very good story about a blind dog that gets a guide dog of his own. This was actually the first book I ever read about either a blind dog or a guide dog so at the time I read this book, it was especially interesting for me. This book focuses on the challenge of a blind dog as well as how the dog adapts to having a guide dog. This book is perfect for dog lovers of all ages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Stupid

    Ycf bgGdgyhdude edyhexebhyyyhdedhunuhu ddehbhgghhhehehehdhdhffyvvf hhffyhhhuhedudbed dbddju

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2003

    It will touch your heart!!

    This magical book will suck you right in! Helen shows courage and bravery in this book, which is even based on a true story!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2002

    VERY TOUCHING

    This is a wonderful book, I could not put it down!! If you had/have a pet you would known how upset Helen felt when she saw that her loving and life saving dog was going blind and might have to be put down!! I loved this book it is for all ages!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2002

    A great book for kids of all different kinds!

    As you read this book you realize the importance of paying attention to animals. In this book you will encounter adventures with Helen, and her labrador Tuck. As Tuck becomes blind, Helen must give her dog extra attetion and care. So, the next time you are at a Barnes & Nobles, or Branes & Nobles.com consider getting your hands on Trouble With Tuck!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2001

    Totally Awesome and Touching Book By Far!!!

    I love dogs, so when I figured out that Tuck was going blind, it was a real heart-braker. But when Helen fought to be his eyes, and helped him in every way she could, even being blind didn't limit Tuck. Every one will LOVE this book! Ages 9-10000000000000000000000000000000000000!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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