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25 Remote Warehouse Children's- Adventure Stories

Taconi & Claude: Double Trouble


Taconi & Claude: Double Trouble Cover

ISBN13: 9781616331306
ISBN10: 1616331305
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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

Janet Ann Collins, September 25, 2013 (view all comments by Janet Ann Collins)
I don't want to duplicate all the other comments, but can't resist saying this is an excellent book for the age group. It's an exciting and fun story and carries the reader into the history and culture of the Australian Outback in an entertaining and informative way.
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maggielyons66, September 16, 2013 (view all comments by maggielyons66)
Margot Finke has written a rollicking page turner for middle-grade readers with Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble. Taconi, the story's young Australian aboriginal hero, learns lessons in life and cultural and psychological rites of passage that transcend the physical rite he must face to become an accepted adult male member of his tribe. Taconi is trying to come to terms with two very different cultures: his tribal life in the outback and his life as a servant - and son of the cook - on a white family's cattle ranch. He wants to become a jackaroo on the ranch and a hunter and revered elder storyteller in his tribe. He finds his desire to thrive in both puzzling worlds presents daily challenges.

Humor, memorable images, and a fast pace will hook reluctant readers and keep them glued to the pages. Claude, the chatty cockatoo that follows Taconi around, is the perfect sidekick for Taconi and supplies some of the book's funniest moments. His vocabulary is picturesque. He "thumbs" his beak at the medicine man, waddles "like a retired sailor," and spouts lines such as "She'll be jake, mate. She'll be jake." When the cattle rancher's wife, the "Missus," plays a "Strangers in Paradise" record, Taconi listens to the song's words and decides Paradise "couldn't be near Cooparoo Station" because he "knew the mountains and plains as far as he could walk in any direction." High irony also makes its appearance when the white dinner guests congratulate their hosts on the delicious soup. Little do they know it contains meat Taconi has made heroic efforts to hunt for in the hostile outback: snake and wichetty grubs, among other things he considers tasty.

Life has its darker moments too. The Missus spits "orders at Cookie as if they were arrows" and slaps at Taconi's bare rear end with a broom before he understands that white folks find naked bodies offensive. White guests and their children ignore Taconi as if he were invisible. His impending manhood ritual fills him with fear and he longs to have the elusive blue kingfisher feather to ward off evil spirits and give him courage.

Taconi eventually learns that self-reliance, courage, and understanding must come from his own efforts and willpower, not from a talisman. As Claude says, "Smarts give power, mate. Smarts give power." Taconi wants to go on a physical "walkabout" when he becomes a man; in this story he has gone on a spiritual one.

I'm looking forward to the sequel to Double Trouble.

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Michelle Fayard, August 19, 2011 (view all comments by Michelle Fayard)
Set in the Australian outback in the 1950s, Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble takes you on a journey where you'll feel the aboriginal boy's two biggest fears: the ceremony that will initiate the 12 year old as a man of his tribe, and his concerns his dad, who's started cooking for Boss and Missus, won't have time to teach him how to become a man.

Taconi decides that only a tail feather from a blue kingfisher, like the medicine man has, can help him. And just maybe it will help him understand his dad's advice: "Aborigine man must know how to live in black skin and with white folks."

When Taconi goes walkabout to hunt for the talisman, accompanying him is a cockatoo named Claude whose one liners are as humorous as they are wise. Could it be that the Dreamtime spirits are talking through him? For it's not soon after that Taconi learns the real power is what's inside each of us, the power that lives within our head and our heart.

Filled with Australian slang, similes and settings, Taconi and Claude is a chance to glimpse an almost-forgotten way of life through a preteen's eyes. It's a mid-grade adventure filled with fun--and a dash of danger--that's just right for boys, tomboys and anyone interested in the outback.
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Product Details

Finke, M. E.
Guardian Angel Publishing
Children s-Adventure Stories
Publication Date:

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Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » General

Taconi & Claude: Double Trouble New Trade Paper
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