Sunday, May 10, 2015

Just Published: Tucks and Me

Tucks and Me would be a good literature match for the study of early 1700s American history.  It is available at Chickadee Hill, Inc. Just follow the link.
It tells the story of Crispus Attucks and his friendship with a young Quaker boy, in 1766-1773 Boston.  While the book is a novel, it is based on several years of research, and has the list of sources used.  The back cover reflects a review by three of the sources used.
“Tucks” as Crispus Attucks is called and Gabriel Bellson the son of a printer have many conversations as they sit at Gregson’s wharf.  Gabe is keeping a journal and Tucks helps correct some of his sketches of harbor ships.  Gabe is full of questions and so Tucks shares his stories as a seaman, as a whaler, and later his father’s story of Africa and of the middle passage to America, and his mother’s story as a Wampanoag, of the praying Indians and King Philip’s war.  In return Gabe shares his family and stories of John Woolman and others who were fighting slavery.
The novel encompasses the Stamp Act, the blockade of Boston Harbor, the Boston Massacre and its trial, and ends with the Boston Tea Party.  The Bellsons are printers, and young Rafael (Rafe), Gabe’s brother, leaves school to learn the trade.  Gabe is the scholar in the family and prepares for Yale.  The family is close knit, the mother, Charity is intelligent and at times helps in the print shop.  The daughter, Sarah, learns wifely skills at her school, and academics at home from her mother.
The Bellson’s print shop does work for Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson, later Governor, as well as Samuel Adams.  Bellson leans toward Adams politically, but abhors the violence and destruction the early mobs have caused.  Rafe reads both sides of the issues as he learns to set type, and after the death of Tucks, joins the Sons of Liberty, and gently leads them into non-violence.
With the harbor blockaded, poverty increases and many families are homeless.  Sarah and Charity vow to relieve the suffering and so begin a campaign of knitting, and homespun to aid others.
While the novel is a story about two friends, it is also a story that encourages:
· Family closeness and trust
· Friendship
· Non-Violence
· Abolition

·  It is a story that shows:
· The horror of slavery
· The horror of war
· The horror of unemployment
· The value of  positive action in face of poverty

It is a story that teaches:
· One must learn from the past
· All actions have consequences, many unintentional
· One can act positively in face of great poverty
· Love of our fellow man is the answer to many problems