Gary Paulsen's popular Western saga continues in the fourth novel about Francis Tucket. Things look grim for Francis and his adopted family, Lottie and Billy. Without horses, water, or food, they're alone in a prairie wasteland, with the dreaded Comanchero outlaws in pursuit. Death can strike at any moment -- but so can good fortune. When they stumble upon an ancient treasure, it takes teamwork, courage, and wit to hold on to it. By sticking together, Francis and his family wind up rich beyond their wildest dreams, and ready to head west to find Francis's parents on the Oregon Trail.
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Throughout the Tucket series, Francis has persevered through endless obstacles both physically and emotionally. Book four begins with Francis accepting his responsibility for the children and the reality of the danger ahead.
Francis has also come to view the children as his family instead of a responsibility he is burdened with. This is a great opportunity to notice the influence the children have on Francis and how they shape each other's point of views.
What can you conclude about Francis and Lottie based on the highlighted section?
Is the thunderhead actually roaring? No, but the description does help you imagine what Francis is seeing more clearly. This added detail is an example of personification. Watch the clip to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
Buckskins are pants made from deer hide. This material was used by the Indians for clothing and moccasins. Compared to what the children are wearing, Francis's pants are better suited for the harsh weather. The painting shows a man wearing a buckskin shirt and pants. Doesn't this look like it could be Francis and the mule? (This annotation contains an image)
Which sentence is an example of a simile?
Which literary device is the author using to describe the sound of the wind?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
Lottie's frustration with Billy is suddenly turning into smacks and cuffs to the back of the head. This is new behavior for Lottie. Why do you think this change is happening?
Finding the buck with it's head down is a huge advantage because Francis' arrival has gone unnoticed. Based on the image, can you figure out how the spike buck got it's name? (This annotation contains an image)
At times you may have to prove an answer using textual evidence. This video reviews how to use this skill appropriately. (This annotation contains a video)
What is Francis referring to as being "the worst thing in the whole world to do"?
Explain how Lottie's chatter has evolved from a nuisance to something of value. What does Francis realize about Lottie's reason for talking so much? Use evidence from the text to support your response.
What does Francis mean by the phrase "the sleep had been wrong"? Why would getting rest be a bad thing? Can you think of other instances that have shaped this idea?
What other instance can you think of where Lottie questions Francis' request or directions?
In a way, the moccasins symbolize Francis and the children. To the people they come across, Francis and the children's survival is not only odd but hard to believe. Like the moccasins, the group may not reflect experience or skill, but they still work.
Theme is the underlying message in a story. As you watch this video, think about what theme is emerging in this novel. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 1-4 Quiz
How is Francis' acceptance of the children as his family reflected in the highlighted section?
The helmet Francis is holding most likely belonged to a conquistador. The conquistadors came from Spain and Portugal to conquer new land and create trade routes. The conquistadors colonized parts of the Americas between the 14th and 17th centuries. (This annotation contains an image)
What is surprising about Francis' reaction to the gold? Explain why Francis sees the gold as a burden instead of something to celebrate. Use text evidence to support your response.
Lottie has done a nice job changing her thinking and learning to accept people without assumptions. Francis has taught Lottie the value of human life and the danger in assuming too much about a person or population. This scene illustrates that Lottie is capable of change. Does this show that she is a static or dynamic character? (This annotation contains a video)
How is Francis's reaction influenced by his past experiences with Mr. Grimes and the children?
This idea sums up the most important lesson Francis has learned from Mr. Grimes. Although Francis has not always been successful in paying attention, his mistakes have helped him value the importance in noticing every single detail.
Horses perk their ears up when they are listening or interested in what they see. Francis uses the horse's body language as permission to approach because he knows the horse is curious too. (This annotation contains an image)
What purpose does Francis have in not sharing more details about his escape from Courtweiler and Dubs?
Chapters 5-8 Quiz
Which of the following would you choose to argue that it is not strange that Lottie was the first to see the castle in the clouds?
Notice how Lottie not talking really illustrates her confusion and wonder about the people she saw. The author uses Lottie's change in behavior to show how she is reacting to the setting.
A butte is a very tall hill with a flat top. Can you imagine seeing such an odd landform with people living on top of it? (This annotation contains an image)
What happens before Francis is bitten by the snake?
Francis is in big trouble! Watch the clip below to see how Francis should be treating his wound. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain what the rifle symbolizes for Francis. Why does Francis ask for his rifle during his recovery? Use text evidence to support your response.
Francis is not used to having positive interactions with the Indians. His disbelief is evident in how he questions Lottie's explanation of events.
What is different about Francis's view of Lottie and Billy as family compared to his ideas in the first chapter?
A kiva is an underground room that the Pueblo Indians used for religious ceremonies. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you think Francis will ever be able to slow down and settle into a home? Or will he be happier migrating like the birds?
Which of the following story elements contributes the most to the changes Billy experiences?
Billy has transformed into a totally new person. Not only is he talking, but his hunting skills are dynamite. Stay tuned for the last book in this series, "Tucket's Home," to see how Billy takes on the wilderness. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the Define feature and look up the meaning of prudent. Based on the definition, which of the following would change the meaning of the sentence?
Chapters 9-12 Quiz