Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Taconi & Claude
Taconi is an aboriginal boy who lives in the Australian Outback in the 1950s. He's torn between two cultures since his father brought him along when he went to work on a homestead cattle station. (In America we'd call that a ranch. )
Taconi's father, who left the tribal grounds because of a conflict, badly needs the job of cook on the homestead and Taconi wants to help him get it. But the boy knows he must also experience the secret and scary tribal ceremony that will make him a man in the eyes of his father and tribe.
Can he find a blue kingfisher feather that will give him the luck he needs?
All through the book Taconi is accompanied by Claude, a cockatoo who always has the appropriate words for every situation. Like parrots, cockatoos can talk, but Claude's ability is both amazing and amusing.
Readers from nine to 14 years old will enjoy the story and learn about Australian culture and history at the same time.
Except for the extreme linguistic abilities of the bird, everything in the book seems realistic. The author includes Aussie jargon and describes the natural world, aboriginal culture, and life on the homestead in the 1950s naturally as the plot moves along.
I think this book is a winner.