Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Great Turkey Walk

Elaine Belanger of Backyard Poultry magazine suggested this book to me. It's a Young Adult book, which I always enjoy. It's a lot of fun. Written for students in grades 3-6, there's also a Literature Unit for teachers,

Protagonist Simon Green is an appealing underdog. Author Kathleen Karr gets him right -- he's direct and honest, lacking the guile of more sophisticated characters. He's every kid who wants to do well but is puzzled by the misdirections and dishonesty of adult life. His common sense cuts through confusion and ultimately carries the day.

Karr based her book on the true turkey trots of the 19th century. Most were less than 50 miles but some were much more ambitious. She cites one in 1863 that walked 500 turkeys from Missouri to Denver, the route Simon takes with his fictional flock. She mentions another that went from California to Carson City, Nevada.

I need to find out more about these legendary turkey trots. Thanks, Kathleen, for writing this book, and Elaine for putting it in my hands.

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