October 22, 2012
Dear Students and Friends,
I read the book Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen, a historical fiction about cowboys and Indians. Anna had read this book, really liked it, and recommended it to me. I was glad she did. I have read several books by Gary Paulsen. He has written a large variety of genres. This one was different than anything else I had read by him.
Mr. Tucket, a 14-year-old boy, is named Francis Alphonse Tucket. He was lost from his wagon train, which was traveling from Missouri to Oregon, when Braid, a Pawnee Indian kidnapped him. The book shows his adventurous and dangerous experiences spending time with Indians, an owner of a trading post, and a mentor mountain man named Mr. Grimes, who gave him his nickname “Mr. Tucket.” In each chapter there is a new and exciting bit of action.
In the saddest part of the book for me, Mr. Tucket and Mr. Grimes approach the trading post owned by Spot Johnnie. They noticed smoke, but not just the smoke of a winter fire for heat and cooking. The whole place was burning. Here is a passage:
There were bodies of Pawnee Indians everywhere. They lay as they had fallen, some running, some stretched out as though sleeping.
“I count twenty-three,” Mr. Grimes said. His voice was hollow. “Old Spot put up one whale of a fight.”
They dismounted and searched the ground around the post, but could not find the bodies of Spot or his family.
This is a coming-of-age story, as the book progresses, Mr. Tucket goes from being an inexperienced and protected boy to a man, able to fend for and protect himself and others.
I wish I knew if Mr. Tucket makes it to Oregon to reunite with his scared family. We didn’t get to know much about what his family went through when he was lost. Since there are four more books in the series, I guess I will learn more by reading them. I look forward to reading more of this series. I think Mason would like these books too.