Taconi & Claude: Double Trouble
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Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Margot E. Finke www.margotfinke.com
Print ISBN: 9781616331306; 1616331305
eBook ISBN: 9781616331313; 1616331313

Taconi, a young aboriginal boy living on Coorparoo Cattle Station, in outback Australia, fears the unknown. His upcoming Man Ceremony, Dreamtime Spirits, and his Dadís change of job are just three of the unknowns he must tackle. Claude, his chatty cockatoo, offers wise one-liners. Yet Taconi must discover courage and insight for himself.

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Reviews:

"Would you ever consider eating yabbies and witchetties? Do you even know what they are? This "Chapbook for Tweens," set in the Australian outback sometime around 1950, tells the story of almost thirteen-year-old Taconi, an Aborigine boy, and his pet cockatoo Claude. Taconi's father, who left the tribe after a dispute with the medicine man when Taconi's sister became sick and died, is now working as a cook on the Coorparoo Cattle Station and wants the job of chief cook, which will allow Taconi to learn the jackaroo (cowboy) trade. Taconi longs to be back with the tribe, but he fears the medicine man along with the dreamtime spirits and also enjoys many aspects of life on the cattle station. Furthermore, it is nearly time for his "man ceremony," and he is afraid of that too."
--Wayne S. Walker "Home School Book Review

A wonderful addition to this genre. The book is a coming of age story set in the 1950's in the Australian Outback. There's a lot of Aussie information in the chapters to interest kids who wonder what it's like "down under." I found myself humming "Waltzing Matilda" as I turned the pages and met fascinating creatures from that familiar song. The story has strange words and phrases that are commonplace to Taconi (and defined at the end of the story). Each time Taconi encounters one of the special critters from the outback, you are engaged and enter more deeply into his world and his conflict.
--Reviewed by: Penelope Anne Cole - author and blogger http://penelopeannecole.blogspot.com