Set in the Australian outback in the 1950s, Margot Finke's new book, Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble (Guardian Angel Publishing Inc., 2011), will take 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.
Because Taconi and his dad no longer live in the hills with the rest of their tribe, Taconie has no one else he can ask. Staying with his tribe has become impossible; Taconi's dad and the medicine man are at odds following the death of the boy's sister.
Taconi feels as if he has one foot in tribe's way and another foot in the white man's world. Yet, Taconi worries, if his dad doesn't get the cookie job, he might never smile again. "I want cookie job more than kookaburra wants to laugh," his father says.
Taconi decides that only a tail feather from a blue kingfisher-like the medicine man has-can help calm his man ceremony fears and help his dad keep his job. "Just one feather from the kingfisher bird, and big problems go pffft ... away on the wind," Taconi says. 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."
Taconi goes walkabout to hunt for the talisman as well as for bush meat-things such as witchetty grubs and bandy-bandy snakes. His dad will need extra meat for an important celebration that will bring other cattle station owners from hundreds of miles away. How could Missus help but be impressed with such delicacies for her dinner?
Accompanying Taconi 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes mid-grade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books including the Wild and Wonderful series of fun facts about animals from the United States and Australia. For many years she has lived in Oregon with her husband and family. Gardening, travel and reading fill in the cracks between writing.
Margot also writes columns, is a writing coach for four organizations, provides a manuscript critique service, and enjoys doing school visits and bookstore signings as well as assisting with writing conference workshops. Visit Margot at:
Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble is available at http://www.amazon.com.
RECEIVE A FREE GIFT FROM MARGOT
Margot will be giving away a free copy of her time-travel PDF book Taconi and Claude's BIG 2011 Adventure to all who comment on this post. This story takes the characters from her three latest books and brings them together in a plot filled with fun. Just leave your e-mail address along with your comment. Comments will be accepted until 12:01 a.m. Aug. 21.
Be sure to watch for Thursday's interview with author Margot Finke.
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