The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker

The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker

by Cynthia DeFelice
3.0 8

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Overview

The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice

A Matter of Life or Death

It's 1849, and twelve-year-old, Lucas Whitaker is all alone after his whole family dies of a disease called consumption which has swept through the community. Lucas is grief-stricken and filled with guilt. He might have saved his mother, who was the last to die, if only he had listened to news of a strange cure for this deadly disease.

Unable to manage the family farm by himself, Lucas finds work as an apprentice to Doc Beecher, doctor, dentist, barber and undertaker. Doc amputates a leg as easily as he pulls a tooth, yet when it comes to consumption, he remains powerless, unwilling to try the cure he calls nonsense. Lucas can't accept Doc's disbelief, and he joins others in the dark ritual they believe is their only hope. The startling results teach Lucas a great deal about fear, desperation, and the scientific reasoning that offers hope for a true cure.

The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374400149
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 02/20/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.13(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Cynthia DeFelice is the author of many bestselling books for young readers, including Wild Life, The Ghost of Cutler Creek, Signal, The Missing Manatee, and Weasel. Her books have been nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award and listed as American Library Association Notable Children's Books and Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year, among numerous other honors. She lives in upstate New York.

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The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay first of all you should totally buy it. Second of all you will not want to put it down. Im telling you all it is very good I have read 5 of her books I read signal (really good check it out) and i read more they are amazing its about a boys family dies so he sets out and looks for a place to get money and live he meets a doctor and is his apprentice so............... GO READ IT!!!!!! You will regret it if you dont.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Set in 1849 New England, this book tells the story of twelve-year-old Lucas Whitaker, whose entire family dies of consumption (tuberculosis). The neighboring Rood family has heard of a "cure," based on the assumption the first in a family to die comes back to make the others sick, that involves digging up that family member, and Mr. Rood says that after he did it his son Enoch got better, but it is too late for Lucas to try. In the foreword, the author says that historical evidence does indicate that this belief and practice were prevalent in pre-Civil War New England. In his grief, Lucas runs away and becomes an apprentice to Doc Uriah Beecher, who scoffs at the "cure" as nothing but rumor but is powerless against the disease. Lucas helps a local family do the "cure," which involves cutting the heart out of the dead family member and burning it, but later sees that the rumors that people report about it simply do not match with what he actually saw. He goes back to his home to find that Enoch Rood did eventually die and eventually learns that true science must overcome superstition. Some people might want to lump believing in God with the superstition, although the book itself does not do that but has both Doc and Lucas praying for those who were sick. After his mother's death, Lucas does question the Bible and God, and this is never really given a satisfactory conclusion. The interjections "O Lord" and "By God" are used frequently, along with some colloquial euphemisms (tarnation, confounded). Moll Garfield, a local woman from whom Doc buys his herbs, smokes a pipe, and before doing surgery Doc himself takes a swig of the whiskey that is to be given to a patient whose leg is to be amputated. While undoubtedly historically accurate, the references to the "cure" are somewhat graphic and might be difficult for those who are sensitive. All in all, it is not a bad book, but it could be a lot better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Judging from what that last girl said I wouldnt reccomend this book to anyone. I mean I read it myself but it got soo boring I went to go do something more fun and adventurous and I had totally forgotten about th book. Then 2 weeks later when the cleaners came to our house they found the book under my bed. (I had gotten in trouble for not turning it in because I lost it and almost ended up having to pay for my overdue library book.) Anyway I deeply deeply do NOT reccomend this book to anyone because its just gross and disgusting and boring soo DONT READ THIS BOOK NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS ABOUT IT !!!!! >:-( P.S. If you could give these boks no stars thats what it would get from me. But you cant do that so Im only going to give it 1 star. >:-(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are reading this in school so i am going to try to buy it so i can sudy it an get A+
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