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Tucket's Home (Francis Tucket Series #5)

Tucket's Home (Francis Tucket Series #5)

4.7 4
by Gary Paulsen

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Francis Tucket, Lottie and Billy have survived extraordinary, hair-raising adventures in their quest to find Francis's family, lost when he was kidnapped from a wagon train on the Oregon Trail. Now they meet up with a British explorer, bloodthirsty soldiers, and in a tragic, heroic encounter, with Jason Grimes, the mountain man. Their way is made more treacherous


Francis Tucket, Lottie and Billy have survived extraordinary, hair-raising adventures in their quest to find Francis's family, lost when he was kidnapped from a wagon train on the Oregon Trail. Now they meet up with a British explorer, bloodthirsty soldiers, and in a tragic, heroic encounter, with Jason Grimes, the mountain man. Their way is made more treacherous still by the secret they carry, the ancient gold they discovered in a Spanish grave. In this final adventure they head home at last, and an epilogue tells what happens to them on the Oregon frontier.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Join Francis Tucket’s final adventure and homecoming in this rip-roaring series set in the great American West.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Francis, Lottie and Billie complete the last stretch of their journey on the Oregon Trail in search of Francis Tucket's lost family and home. In this fifth and final book of Paulsen's "Tucket Adventures," life continues to be dangerous and sometimes violent. Francis witnesses death, including that of his hero mountain man, Grimes, who dies to save the three children. Religious men take them into their company but make a deadly trip down the Columbia River against Francis' advise. The children accept the help of Iktah, a friendly Native American who guides them to the right trails and back to civilization and the Tucket family. Paulsen tells us in an Afterword that the children grow up to become some of the richest Americans of their time. It is another page-turning thriller that portrays the talents of three brave children when faced with unbelievable hardships. Summaries of the first four books of the series are included. 2000, Delacorte, Ages 10 up, $15.95. Reviewer: Elaine Wick
This satisfying conclusion to Paulsen's action-packed historical fiction series will please its many fans; events of the previous books are summarized for readers not yet acquainted with brave young Francis Tucket. Francis is 15 now, and accompanied by ten-year-old Lottie and eight-year-old Billy he is making his way west, trying to find his family along the Oregon Trail. He was separated from them when Pawnees kidnapped him from a wagon train; he then was rescued by a one-armed mountain man named Jason Grimes who taught him survival skills. Francis picked up Lottie and Billy as traveling companions when he found them orphaned and alone on the prairie, and the three of them have survived a number of adventures together—including finding a hoard of gold and silver, which they are bringing west with them. In this volume, they meet up with a foolish Englishman who is killed by marauding robbers. Jason Grimes reappears just in time to kill the robbers, but is himself killed, to Francis's dismay. The three young people then meet up with a group of religious men as well as a helpful young Native American, who warns them about the danger of crossing the Columbia River. Francis listens, though the men do not, and at last finds his family. We follow the interlinked fortunes of the three into a happy future. Lots of realistic action and Francis's intrepid heroism draw readers effortlessly into this series, and this final volume will not disappoint. Told in Paulsen's spare but affecting style, like his Newbery Award-winning Hatchet, this is an exciting tale that helps make history come alive for readers. In an author's note at the end, Paulsen comments on "the amount of fighting and death anddifficulty" in Francis's saga, pointing out that this is how life was on the Oregon Trail: "Several people died for every mile covered." He also notes that Indian attacks were rarely a cause of the hardships, as the movies would have it, and that the Native Americans generally helped the travelers, as happens here. A map depicts Francis's West of 1847-1849. (Book 5 of the Tucket Adventures) KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2000, Random House/Delacorte, 94p, map, $15.95. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-In this final book of the series, Paulsen completes the saga set in the 1840s. Francis Tucket, now 15, sticks to his goal of trying to find his family and keep a protective eye on his orphaned traveling companions, Billy and Lottie. The three youngsters face dangers and are challenged to use teamwork, skill, and spirit. Written in a simple, straightforward style, the book will appeal to intermediate readers who will come to know the harsh realities of life on the open plains and gain a realistic picture of that time in history. Myths about Native Americans are dispelled. Paulsen trusts his readers to handle sometimes graphically violent scenes and accept them. He tells a true adventure story in every sense of the word and ties it up with a happy ending. A perfect choice to supplement units on Westward expansion.-Victoria Kidd, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Francis Tucket Series , #5
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 7.61(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Francis Tucket lay quietly, the sun warming his back, and watched a small herd of buffalo below him in a depression on the prairie. There were only fifteen or twenty of them, mostly cows with some yearling calves. Two young bulls were sparring, tearing up the dirt and raising dust in great clouds.

He turned to look behind him, where ten-year-old Lottie watched their horses graze. Her little brother, Billy, crouched beside her, making an arrow. Francis looked down at the buffalo. The sun was gentle on his back, the dust from the fight was drifting away on a soft breeze, and as Francis lay watching, he let his mind wander back over the trip since he and Lottie and Billy had left the Pueblo Indian village.

They'd stayed there a month so that Francis could recover from a snakebite. With the help of some of the Indians, Lottie had pulled him through, while Billy had learned to hunt and shoot a bow and arrow with amazing skill. The village had been a peaceful place.

Now Francis shifted and scanned the horizon. Even in a quiet moment like this one, you had to be alert, ready for anything. They'd all learned that the hard way.

Francis Tucket had been separated from his family more than a year before, on his fourteenth birthday, when Pawnees kidnapped him from a wagon train. Jason Grimes, a one-armed mountain man, had helped him escape and taught him to survive. After they parted, Francis had found Lottie and Billy alone on the prairie, their father dead of cholera. They'd been members of a wagon train that abandoned them when their father became sick, for fear that he would infect others in the train. So the three had stuck together and headed west to the Oregon Trail to find Francis's family.

Lottie had proved to be the best organizer and camper Francis had ever seen, and Billy, now just shy of eight, had become a hunting and scouting machine of the first order. They'd been through some hair-raising adventures: Kidnapped by the Comanchero outlaw band. Storms. Snakebite. Ambushed by the murderous thieves Courtweiler and Dubs. The three had shared plenty, good and bad, and now they shared a secret—the ancient Spanish silver and gold they carried on the packhorse. When they were being chased by the Comancheros Billy had stumbled upon the grave of a Spanish conquistador, buried with his

armor, sword and plunder of centuries ago. Of course, gold and silver meant nothing out here in the wilderness. But someday, someday they'd find Francis's family and civilization, though they still had five hundred miles of rough country to cover alone.

Francis had feared there would be problems on this part of their journey, but it had turned out to be nothing more than a camping trip in a country so

beautiful that Francis often had trouble believing it was real.

They had started in partial desert, country covered in mesquite and pinons, but it quickly gave way to mountains. Spring had come early and had stayed. Thick, green grass kept the horses well fed and happy; streams ran full of cold water and trout. Billy caught the fish easily, using a skill he'd learned from the Pueblos that required only a bit of line braided from horsehair, taken from the ponies' tails, and a bent and sharpened piece of wire.

Francis had no trouble getting deer with his rifle, and Billy supplemented the venison and trout diet with rabbit and turkey and grouse he shot with his bow. Within a week they were all getting fat, and the packhorse nearly staggered with extra meat as they rode through grassy mountain meadows amid high mountain peaks still covered with snow.

But they hadn't seen any buffalo until they'd come to this rise and seen below them the small herd with the fighting bulls.

"Honestly, Francis, I don't see why we need more meat." Lottie had crawled up alongside him. Billy, his arrow finished, was a hundred yards back, below the ridge, adjusting the makeshift packs on the horses. "We have so much now we can't carry it all."

"Not so loud—if the wind shifts they'll hear us and run," Francis whispered. "The reason is that we don't have buffalo meat. Besides that, they're fat and we need the grease for our moccasins and leather and my rifle. So we're going to shoot a buffalo, all right?"

She nodded and became quiet and he studied the terrain around the herd to see how best to approach them for a shot. The buffalo were in a small basin with a series of drainage gullies that fed in and out. Francis saw that the one that ran off to the east seemed to provide the best course. It was deep and wound back toward him in a big loop, with a smaller ditch he could use for access. He nodded and pointed with his chin.

"See that ditch off to the right?" He looked at Lottie, then back. "You go back with Billy, I'll make my way down there and—"

Suddenly, as if by magic, there was a burst of gray smoke below them from the edge of the gully that pointed toward the buffalo. Half an instant later

Francis heard the crack of a rifle—they were so far away it took that long for the sound to reach them—and one of the cows watching the fighting bulls pitched forward and down onto her side.

"What . . ."

There was another puff of smoke. Another cow went down; then another shot, and another and another, coming so fast they were almost on top of each other, and each time, a cow would drop on her side and start kicking in death. Twelve shots. Twelve cows.

"Francis, somebody is shooting our buffalo!" Lottie punched his shoulder.

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen is the author of more than 100 books and the winner of numerous awards, including three Newbery Honors and the Golden Spur Award for Best Young Adult Western.

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Tucket's Home (Francis Tucket Series #5) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. I thought it was a very good book, but I do have to say the book was a little scary when there was killing in chapters 2-4 there was killing. But for the first book I read by Gary Paulsen I think he is a really good author. I liked the book because it was a very good book and had very good characters. I also thought it was sad when Mr. Grimes died on Francis tucket¿s shoulder and told Francis ¿To not bury him let the wolf¿s get him.¿ I liked this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I gave it 5 Stars and I think Gary Paulsen should keep writing these kinds of books!!!