I love books for middle grade readers, especially those written for reluctant readers. Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble is about a young aboriginal boy. The author, M.E. Finke, is an Aussie transplant and understands or has a good understanding of what the aboriginal life is and was like for Taconi. The story is based back in the mid 1900s. Taconi lives on Coorparoo Cattle Station, in outback Australia, were fears of the unknown surround him, not to mention his upcoming “Man Ceremony.” The thought of walking or talking to Dreamtime Spirits is more than he can bear and his Dad’s change of job only adds to three of the unknowns he must tackle. Luckily, Taconi has Claude, his chatty cockatoo to offer wise words, even if they are one-liners.
Can Taconi discover courage and insight for himself or from his chatty cockatoo? I worried a bit about how Taconi would find the courage to face the unknown as the rich language and dialogue captured my attention from the first lines on chapter one: “The full moon cast a cold light on Taconi’s naked body as four wizened elders pinned him on the ground close to a blazing fire. Sweat rolled off him, and his heart raced the thump, thump, thump of the feather drums: faster and faster.”
This beautifully written story will take you on an adventure while teaching some valuable lessons of life at the same time. I recommend this book not only to parents of reluctant readers, but also to anyone who loves a great adventure story.
I also suggest checking out Author M.E. Finke’s other books. She knows how to write books with a “WOW” factor. Her first books, a 7x book rhyming series, Wild and Wonderful, offers fun facts about animals from the U.S. and Australia. All 11 of Finke’s books (both hard copy and eBooks) can be viewed on Magic Carpet.
Taconi and Claude: Double Trouble (middle grade adventure)
By: M.E. Finke
Published by: Guardian Angel Publishing Date: 2011
ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-61633-130-6; 1616331305
EBook: 978-1-61633-131-3; 1616331313
Ages: 9-14 years