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Duck for Turkey Day

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  142 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
It's almost Thanksgiving, and Tuyet is excited about the holiday and the vacation from school. There's just one problem: her Vietnamese American family is having duck for Thanksgiving dinner - not turkey! Nobody has duck for Thanksgiving - what will her teacher and the other kids think? To her surprise, Tuyet enjoys her yummy thanksgiving dinner anyhow - and an even bigger ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Albert Whitman & Company
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Allison Barry
May 01, 2014 Allison Barry rated it really liked it
Text-to-self: This story reminds me of a time when I found out my cousin was having duck for Thanksgiving. I was in such a shock! All I eat for Thanksgiving is turkey because that is what my culture grew up having. I can only imagine how my cousin felt when he told all his friends that he didn't have turkey for Thanksgiving. Now, I feel bad for asking him why he wasn't having turkey for Thanksgiving! It's okay to not fit in with the norm.

Text-to-text: I read a book called, Thanksgiving Rules by
Dec 11, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Probably a 4 from me and a 4.5 or 5 from my kids due to the unintentional laugh line at the end (see note below). I liked that this book explored what other families eat for Thanksgiving... and that there was acceptance and appreciation on the main character's part at the end for her own traditions.

Personal Note: My family thought it was hysterical that they mentioned the vegetarian family and their tofurky. This was not meant to be humorous at all but my two kids burst out laughing since I hav

Tuyet and her classmates focus on turkeys, turkeys, turkeys in class leading up to Thanksgiving. When class is out before the Thanksgiving break, Tuyet's teacher even wishes them "Happy Turkey Day!" But when Tuyet gets home, she finds out that her Vietnamese-American family is having *duck* for Thanksgiving! Tuyet is crushed. How will it be a real Thanksgiving feast without turkey!?

This is a sensitive and engaging story to which many children will probably be able to relate, no matter t
Priscilla Johnson
Nov 17, 2015 Priscilla Johnson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
In this story a little girl celebrates Thanksgiving with the hope of having turkey for dinner. Her Thanksgiving dreams are crushed when her family wants to eat duck on Thanksgiving instead of turkey. When she returns to school she is nervous to tell the class she didn’t have turkey on Thanksgiving. She learns from her classmates and teacher that looks different in every home because of all the different traditions families have.

This is a WOW book for me because it teaches our students about cult
Nov 08, 2011 ABC rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger-kids
Tuyet's Vietnamese-American family is having duck for Thanksgiving. But she is embarrassed it is not turkey! She tells her teacher she had duck, and the other kids say what they had: Noodles, roast beef, tofu turkey, enchiladas, etc.
Nov 04, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it
It's almost Thanksgiving, and Tuyet is excited about the holiday and the vacation from school. There's just one problem: her Vietnamese American family is having duck for Thanksgiving dinner - not turkey! Nobody has duck for Thanksgiving - what will her teacher and the other kids think? To her surprise, Tuyet enjoys her yummy thanksgiving dinner anyhow - and an even bigger surprise is waiting for her at school on Monday. Dinners from roast beef to lamb to enchiladas adorned the Thanksgiving tabl ...more

This is a great children's book about a young girl who struggles to connect her Vietnamese traditions with her American tradition of Thanksgiving. Her family has duck for Thanksgiving, and she wants turkey, as is traditionally served. At the end, it's clear that she learns family is the most important part of Thanksgiving and that she likes her traditions, and that they can coexist with her American traditions. She also learns no one in her class had turkey, because everyone is different and has

Candice M (tinylibrarian)
Nov 08, 2011 Candice M (tinylibrarian) rated it really liked it
"It doesn't matter what you eat on Thanksgiving, as long as you have a good time with family and friends." - from Duck for Turkey Day

A super cute, multicultural story about Thanksgiving.
Kelsey Connolly
Feb 21, 2015 Kelsey Connolly rated it really liked it
Duck For Turkey Day - Jacqueline Jules

Response - I have read this book several times around Thanksgiving. Not all families celebrate Thanksgiving with the traditional turkey dinner, and Duck For Turkey Day is a narrative about a Vietnamese family that celebrates with duck. Tuyet, a young girl, is nervous what her teacher and her peers will think of her when they find out, and wishes she could have turkey just like everyone else. In the end, she not only enjoys her Duck for Turkey Da
Sherry Philippus
Mar 29, 2016 Sherry Philippus rated it really liked it
In this modern-day Thanksgiving story, Tuyet is concerned because her family will be having duck for Thanksgiving - which seems to go against her teacher's reference to the holiday as "Turkey Day." She fears she's doing something not quite right, even though she enjoys the food and time with family. Happily, upon returning to school, she discovers that the vegetarian, Hispanic, and Chinese kids in her class celebrated with different foods as well! The multicultural approach and acceptance of dif ...more
Nov 14, 2011 Ina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime-reads
This is a great book to remind us that we "Americans" are often from other places in the world and that we are a culture of many traditions. Tuyet is a young Vietnamese-American girl, who enjoys all her class preparations for Thanksgiving. When her teacher wishes them all a "Happy Turkey Day" she excitedly comes home to talk to her mom about getting turkey for the big day...only to be told that at their house they would be serving duck in a spicy sauce. As the daughter of non-American parents, I ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Victoria added it
Shelves: text-set
Duck for Turkey Day is a story about how a young girl, Tuyet, struggles with not eating turkey with her family on Thanksgiving. Tuyet tries to convince her mother that they must eat turkey for dinner, but does not succeed. Her grandmother and cousins also seem to be excited rather than upset about eating duck on Thanksgiving. Tuyet ends up having a great Thanksgiving, enjoying her family's company and their traditional foods. When she returns to school, Tuyet is embarrassed to share with the cla ...more
Jennifer Kim
Oct 08, 2012 Jennifer Kim rated it really liked it
“Duck for Turkey Day” tells a fictional story about a Vietnamese girl and her feelings of confusion between her Vietnamese culture at home and American culture at school. This story tells of how the young girl, Tuyet, finds out how her family will be having duck rather than turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. She is upset and fearful until she finds out that her fellow peers have different experiences on Thanksgiving Day as well. This story could teach my students about holidays and school environme ...more
It is almost Thanksgiving and Tuyet, the main character is all excited about the holiday and being away from school. Tuyet is a Vietnamese American little girl whose family is having duck for Thanksgiving instead of Turkey. She is nervous about what her friends and teacher at school will think of her for having duck. When she gets back from Thanksgiving break, her class has a Thanksgiving meal that has a whole bunch of different foods so she feels accepted.
Nov 28, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it
After learning all about Thanksgiving, Tuyet is concerned that her family is celebrating incorrectly. After all, you are supposed to have turkey for Thanksgiving, but her family is having duck. She enjoys the day with her family and loves the food but continues to feel sad that they aren't celebrating in the traditional way...until her teacher helps her learn the most important part of Thanksgiving.
Duck for Turkey Day (2009) is Vietnamese American realistic fiction. Jacqueline Jules suggested that “it doesn’t matter what you eat on Thanksgiving, as long as you have a good time with family and friends.” She developed it through the eye of a Vietnamese girl, Tuyet, who understood that Thanksgiving meant turkey but her family preferred duck. Back to school, Tuyet’s eyes were burn with tears when the teacher ask the class to talk about their dinner, but to her surprise, none of the children h ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A wonderful way to show that there are different, equally acceptable ways of having Thanksgiving dinner; what matters is that the family is together. I also like that Tuyet felt confused about not having turkey but then was reassured that her family was not alone.
Dec 01, 2015 Kelli rated it really liked it
Tuyet is excited for her Vietnamese Thanksgiving dinner of duck, but worried that her American classmates won't understand or will bully her. But when she talks to her classmates, it turns out everyone eats different foods ranging from chicken to roast beef and everything in between! A great book for young readers to learn about cultural differences and talk about the main point of Thanksgiving: to be thankful and to come together.
Kayla Quinn
Oct 17, 2013 Kayla Quinn rated it really liked it
This book can teach children that it is okay to not have turkey on Thanksgiving. The little girl in the story was from Vietnam, and they do not have turkey, they had duck. She was upset because she didn't know why she had duck instead. In the end the lesson was it does not matter what you have on Thanksgiving, just as long as your with friends and family. Children who may not understand why others from different cultures may not have the same types of foods on holidays need to read this book. Or ...more
This is a great multicultural book for children. It is about a vietnamese girl who worries that people will judge her and her family for eating duo instead of turkey on Thanksgiving.
Catharine Keeffe
Feb 24, 2014 Catharine Keeffe rated it really liked it
What a fun read about a girl who is from Vietnam and whose family has duck on Thanksgiving! Teaches kids that even though people may have different traditions we are all still special!
This is a sweet story about a little Vietnamese American girl who is embarrassed that her family isn't having turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. She learns that it doesn't matter what you eat for Thanksgiving, and that many of her friends have non-traditional foods too.

So far so good, BUT this story could go so much further and have so much more meaning if it took the time to teach that Thanksgiving is about being THANKFUL. It never once addresses the true meaning of Thanksgiving, and continually r
Mar 13, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2012
Tuyet has been doing a lot of things with her class at school before they let out for the Thanksgiving holiday: making pine cone turkeys, singing turkey songs, learning about pilgrims and Native Americans. Their teacher let's them out at the end of the day and tells them to have a happy turkey day. When Tuyet gets home, her mom talks about the duck they are going to cook for their family. Tuyet is upset that they will not be eating turkey for turkey day. She even looks to see if she has enough m ...more
Anna Zukowski
Apr 28, 2014 Anna Zukowski rated it liked it
This book helps students who don't think they fit in learn that their culture is what makes them unique and there is nothing wrong with it.
Oct 17, 2013 Rachael rated it really liked it
This is a perfect story to read to the classroom as it brings all of the different customs and ethnicities. Many students can relate to this story. This book could be used to spark an interesting conversation in the classroom; talking about the different customs and ethnicities throughout the class. This would also be a beneficial book to read to show students that people are different; this is a good way for students to realize that. In talking about the holiday of Thanksgiving, it is important ...more
Tuyet learns a valuable lesson after she is sad that her Vietnamese family only has duck on Thanksgiving Day. She is sure that families must have turkey in America to celebrate the big day, after all, she learned all about the traditions in school.

But when Mrs. Cook, her teacher, asks everyone how Turkey Day was, Tuyet is surprised to learn that many of her classmates celebrated with their own traditional foods too...and she comes to realize that giving thanks is not about what types of foods y
Pamela Powell
Dec 18, 2015 Pamela Powell rated it it was amazing
Tuyet is worried that her Chinese American family isn't celebrating Thanksgiving right because they eat duck not turkey.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Tuyet and her schoolmates are looking forward to Thanksgiving Day--except that Tuyet knows that her Vietnamese parents will be serving duck instead of turkey. She tries to get them interested in turkey, but to no avail. How will she be able to tell her classmates that she didn't share in that Thanksgiving tradition? I liked this story because it emphasized that we all give thanks in our own way, and that Thanksgiving can be a multicultural holiday. Reading this book made me hungry, and left me w ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Garren rated it really liked it
The perfect book for explaining diversity and inclusion in America to kids.
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I am a children's author, teacher, librarian, and poet.
My books include Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off, Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation, No English, Sarah Laughs, Benjamin and the Silver Goblet, Duck for Turkey Day, and Never Say a Mean Word Again. Please visit me at
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