Francis Tucket and his adopted family, Lottie and Billy, are heading west in search of Francis's parents on the Oregon Trail. But when winter comes early, Francis turns south to avoid the cold, and leads them right into enemy territory--the Mexican War of 1848. Francis and the children are captured by desperadoes, but loyalty, courage, and the element of surprise offer hope for survival.
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Tucket's Ride is the third novel in the Tucket Adventure Series by writer Gary Paulsen. The series follows the exploits that begin when fourteen-year old Francis Tucket is abducted by Indians while his family travels by wagon on the Oregon Trail. (This annotation contains an image)
What do you notice about how Francis is assessing the area? His quick collection of information shows how Francis has matured and mastered the skills necessary for survival in the wilderness.
Compared to Francis's first observation of the area, what do the sensory details in this scene reveal about his state of mind?
Whoa, this is a huge deal! This is the first person Francis has killed, and from what you know of Francis, he doesn't take this lightly. How has the setting impacted Francis? This is a great example of how different elements of a story can influence a character.
"She spat the words" changes the tone and reveals the woman's opinion of the man. How would the meaning of the sentence change if "spat" was replaced with "whispered" or "cried"?
Francis lives in a time where information travels slowly. Cellphones, computers and wifi don't exist yet. Francis doesn't interact with many people, so it makes sense that he might have missed such huge news. (This annotation contains a video)
What has contributed the most to Francis's feeling that the idea of running "came into his mind as if it had always been there"?
Ha'nts is an abbreviated version of haunts. Billy is referring to the possibility of ghosts or spirits lurking around to make the area spooky. Don't forget to use the Define feature to look up words you don't know!
Which question is the officer most likely thinking when he hears Francis's claim about acting in self-defense?
What did you notice about how Billy said haunts? What do you notice about how Lottie speaks to the solider? Both scenes illustrate the dialect, or way of speaking, common in the area.
How does Brannigan's comment about the Indians relate to the solider Francis killed? What can you infer about the conflicts Francis may face based on this scene?
What is Lottie not picking up on? This is a great example of how her age skews her understanding of the conversations going on around her. Brannigan just maneuvered Francis's safety by taking advantage of the commandant's drunken state.
How does Brannigan's trick relate to Francis's inability to shake the feeling he has a rope around his neck?
Chapters 1-4 Quiz
Which of the following would you use as evidence to support that Brannigan's farewell foreshadows the potential conflicts Francis and the children may face?
Lottie is correct in reminding Francis to move on and not dwell on the past. How else could you apply this idea to Francis's adventure? Keep track of the impact of Lottie's advice and notice if you see any themes emerging. (This annotation contains a video)
Not only are Francis and the children lucky to find a tree to rest under, but piñón, or pinyon pine trees, also produce delicious nuts. (This annotation contains an image)
Compare Garcia and Francis's views of how a boy becomes a man. How are their views different?
Remember how Francis compared himself to a wolf? Garcia demonstrates more wolf-like qualities, don't you think? Francis has a lot to learn from Garcia, even if he isn't ready to admit it. Keep an eye on how the two interact and the impact Garcia has on the group.
What do you notice about Francis's teasing?
Have you noticed how the author uses foreshadowing at the end of most chapters? In each of the Francis Tucket books, there are multiple chapters that end with Francis realizing he is in danger, ill-prepared or making a huge decision. What purpose does the author have in ending a chapter like this?
Explain why seeing the assortment of weapons and the men wearing a mix of Indian clothing is scary to Francis. What do these details reveal about the men? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
What does "a forest of horses' legs" make you visualize? The imagery in this statement paints a picture of the scene, but also gives you information. You know that Francis is seeing a lot of horses, which tells you he is surrounded by large number riders as well.
Why are the men keeping Francis alive?
Chapters 5-8 Quiz
The Comancheros took advantage of trade with the Comanche and thrived from the arrangement. Can you think of other instances where Francis interacted with men who traded with the Indians?
The author's use of simile illustrates the intensity of Francis's __________.
Whoa, this is crazy! This is an awesome example of internal conflict. Francis knows he needs to escape, but do you think he can move past his own feelings to let Mr. Grimes help him? (This annotation contains a video)
"Grimes could crawl under a snake." Which of the following sums up Francis's view of Mr. Grimes?
How is Francis's apology related to Lottie's advice about not dwelling on the past? What is surprising about Francis's reaction to saying he is sorry? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
Do you remember how Francis was able to escape from the Pawnees? Mr. Grimes thinks he may be able to distract Pasqual and give Francis enough time to escape with the children. Do you think it will work?!
Can you think of other occasions where keeping Lottie quiet was essential to making a plan work? Lottie's constant chatter has its uses, but for the most part it creates tension for Francis as he tries to keep them safe.
Do you agree with Francis's reaction? What is Francis forgetting about Mr. Grimes?
How does Lottie's reaction relate to Francis's change in thinking?
Keep your hair on is an idiom that means to stay calm and not get angry. Doesn't it seem fitting that Mr. Grimes is saying this to Francis?
Chapters 9-12 Quiz