The Francis Tucket Series
by Gary Paulsen

This is a great historical series that has been kid-parent-and-teacher tested and approved. 

bookcover of  Tucket's Travels: Francis Tucket's Adventures In The West, 1847-1849 (The Tucket Adventures, #1-5)  by Gary Paulsen
I've reviewed the first book in the Francis Tucket series yesterday (click here) and I will to talk about the rest of the series below. But right now I'm want to cut to the chase and tell you to buy this one volume --Tucket's Travels -- which includes all of the stories.

At $8 bucks, it is deal when you consider that just one of the other books is $5.50.

At this price it definitely ought to be considered for the home shelves.

Tucket's Travels - Books 1-5 (the entire series)


bookcover of  Mr. Tucket  (The Tucket Adventures, #1) by Gary PaulsenMR. TUCKET
The year is 1848, and the place is west of Missouri. Francis Alphonse Tucket and his family are a part of a wagon train heading west to Oregon. It's Francis' 14th birthday and to his surprise and delight he receives not only a cake --it's near impossible to bake on the trail -- but also a 'sweet' rifle, just right for a boy.

Unfortunately, that's the last good thing that happens to Francis for some time, because while he is out practice shooting, he is taken captive by Pawnees.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 29,783
Accelerated Reading level: 5.0 / points: 4.0
AR quiz: 11481
Lexile: 830L
--sample pages available

bookcover of  Call Me Francis Tucket (The Tucket Adventures, #2) by Gary Paulsen CALL ME FRANCIS TUCKET
In the first book, "Mr. Tucket", Francis was separated from his family while they were on their way to Oregon. Pawnee Indians took him captive right after his 14th birthday, and he kept as their slave until a one-armed trapper named Jason Grimes appeared in the camp and helped him escape. While Francis liked aspects of Mr. Grimes, and certainly learned a lot from the man, Francis eventually forced himself to walk away from that relationship. And this brings us up to this volume, where Francis has joined a wagon train heading west with the hopes that he might eventually catch up with what is left of his family

In this book, Tucket comes into his own. He still makes some tremendously huge mistakes, which almost get him murdered, but he responds with suitable brutality and savvy, which makes for one heck of an adventure.

I won't say more except that this is certainly a story that doesn't demonstrate the best of mankind. Even some of the not-so-bad people don't come over as that-good.

Call Me Francis Tucket is written at on the 5th Grade level and is suitable for Tweeners, Middle-schoolers (MG) on up.

Personally, I liked it even better than the first book. Thumbs Up.

Word Count:  20,794
Page Count:  192
Accelerated Reading level: 5.5 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 14136
Lexile: 1050L
--sample pages available

Book #3 starts with Francis and the children riding south as winter deepens in the northern plains. As in the other volumes in this series for juveniles, Paulsen wastes no time but throws the reader back into the gritty western setting that he has created -- one where the bad side of human nature isn't glossed over.

I won't give away more of the plot, but will say that Tucket's Ride is adventure from start to finish, and that while it ends pleasingly, I couldn't wait to get onto the next volume, Tucket's Gold.

Word Count: 17,256
Page Count:  112
Accelerated Reading level: 4.8 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 14146
Lexile: 790L

Book four, Tucket's Gold, starts with Francis, Lottie and Billie in the desert plains, on foot and without food and water. They are moving as fast as they can, hoping to evade the Comancheros who still hope to take them captive so they can sell them to the Comanches.

This book, for a change, is a little slower paced than it's siblings. Not that there isn't excitement, but it's time for Lottie and Billie to 'come into their own', and for the reader to learn a little more about the Pueblo Indians.

For myself, I really enjoyed this book; and I thought the ending was fantastic.

Word Count: 17,438
Accelerated Reading level: 5.2 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 32262
Lexile: 870L

Tucket's Home is the last book in the Francis Tucket series.  Although there is some action, it is mostly about tying up loose ends and getting to the final destination.

As in the other books, Gary Paulsen has done an excellent job of making it crystal clear that the western journey wasn't easy. If it wasn't disease and starvation trying to get the better of you, there were the elements, and worse, the kinds of wild men that gravitate to areas were the law isn't present.

This is a short quick read and good ending to the series. I highly recommend these kid-parent-and-teacher approved books.

Word Count: 14,632
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 2.0
AR quiz: 44730
Lexile: 870L

Related Posts:::
Our Master Gary Paulsen list
Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen (Book 1 - Tucket Series)
Review of Woods Runner audiobook
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen