This brief novel is lighter than most of Paulsen's survival stories but it's well done. A sequel to Mr. Tucket, this story starts with Francis, alone but with a rifle and a mare, trying to relocate his family's wagon train. Soon a nefarious pair of men relieve him of the horse, rifle, clothing and food, leaving him shirtless with his broken down mule. The mule turns out to be a blessing in disguise as it helps Francis get back his possessions. Soon Francis finds two children abandoned on the trail and becomes a family man in spite of himself.
Readers who have not already done so will probably want to seek out and read Mr. Tucket the precursor to Call Me Francis Tucket. This light-hearted look at the old West is found in several good novels such as Mary Downing Hahn's The Gentleman Outlaw and Me - Eli and some of the novels of Sid Fleischman. Parallels to this kind of book can be found in many movie Westerns and students might like comparing Francis and Eli to those heroes.
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In Times Past
by Carol Hurst and Rebecca Otis
Integrating US History with Literature in Grades 3-8.
Enliven your US History curriculum!
Teach US History using great kids books.