Tucket's Home (Francis Tucket Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Tucket's Home (Francis Tucket Series #5)

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Overview

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Francis, Lottie, and Billy survive a series of hair-raising adventures while on their way West to the Oregon Trail where they hope to find the Tucket family.

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Editorial Reviews

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
KLIATT
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.|
From the Publisher
Join Francis Tucket’s final adventure and homecoming in this rip-roaring series set in the great American West.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375890055
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Series: Francis Tucket Series , #5
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 656,614
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

A three-time Newbery Honor winner, Gary Paulsen is also winner of the 1997 Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors an author’s lifetime contribution to writing books for teenagers.

Born May 17, 1939, Gary Paulsen is one of America’s most popular writers for young people. Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read–along with his own library card–he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dogsled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his powerful stories.

Paulsen’s realization that he would become a writer came suddenly when he was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace firm in California. One night he walked off the job, never to return. He spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader, working on his own writing every night. Then he left California and drove to northern
Minnesota where he rented a cabin on a lake; by the end of the winter, he had completed his first novel.

Living in the remote Minnesota woods, Paulsen eventually turned to the sport of dogsled racing, and entered the 1983 Iditarod. In 1985, after running the Iditarod for the second time, he suffered an attack of angina and was forced to give up his dogs. “I started to focus on writing the same energies and efforts that I was using with dogs. So we’re talking 18-, 19-, 20-hour days completely committed to work. Totally, viciously, obsessively committed to work, the way I’d run dogs. . . . I still work that way, completely, all the time. I just work. I don’t drink, I don’t fool around, I’m just this way. . . . The end result is there’s a lot of books out there.”

It is Paulsen’s overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write. His intense desire to tap deeply into the human spirit and to encourage readers to observe and care about the world around them has brought him both enormous popularity with young people and critical acclaim from the children’s book community. Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature today, and three of his novels–Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room–were Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.

Paulsen has received many letters from readers (as many as 200 a day) telling him they felt Brian Robeson’s story in Hatchet was left unfinished by his early rescue, before the winter came and made things really tough. They wanted to know what would happen if Brian were not rescued, if he had to survive in the winter. Paulsen says, “I researched and wrote Brian’s Winter, showing what could and perhaps would have happened had Brian not been rescued.”

In Paulsen’s most recent Brian-related book, Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books, Paulsen shares his own adventures in the wild, which are often hilarious and always amazing: moose attacks, heart attacks, near-misses in planes, and looking death in the eye.

Paulsen has also written a time travel novel, The Transall Saga, which was named an ALA Quick Pick. Mark’s solo camping trip in the desert turns into a terrifying adventure when a mysterious beam of light transports him into another time.
In the heartwrenching story Soldier’s Heart, Paulsen brings the Civil War to life battle by battle, as readers see the horror of combat and its devastating results through the eyes of 15-year-old Charley Goddard.

Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between a home in New Mexico and a boat in the Pacific. For more information about Gary Paulsen, visit garypaulsen.com

From the Hardcover edition.

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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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2008

    I loved this book!!!!!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2001

    Excellent Book!!!!!! Great and exciting . Can't stop reading til you're done with the book!!

    This was a great book. I gave it 5 Stars and I think Gary Paulsen should keep writing these kinds of books!!!

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

    Posted February 14, 2012

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    Posted February 29, 2012

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