Glenda Bixler's Reviews > Nolichuck! TJ's Wild Frontier Adventure

Nolichuck!  TJ's Wild Frontier Adventure by Jackson Keene
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's review
Sep 13, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed-books
Read in September, 2012

Yes, I am one of those adults who also enjoy reading books for all ages. Yes, it kinda comes with the territory as a book reviewer, but, also, I've found that writers who decide to write for the young take special care to ensure content appropriate to the age. It's a nice break to sit back and enjoy a story that is written to help young adults get interested in reading. In this case, it will undoubtedly also get them interested in history! I assure you that Nolichuck! will be read with just as much excitement and fun as Huckleberry Finn was for many of us and as Harry Potter is for many of today's youth, except with a little less magic and a lot more of traveling and learning about the world! Personally, I appreciate history being shared as opposed to the pure fantasy of magic--but that's my "adult" speaking about the "double-whammy" (reading and learning history) at the same time, as Jackson Keene has provided. Ahhh, to have my own green book...

The novel takes place both in the present and in the past via "time travel." So, the present issues of bullies, cliques at school, being "in", boring classes, teacher issues are all written from the point of view of today's youth through the character Thomas James (TJ) Cockrell, who is 14.

His family was recently split in half through divorce. His mother and sister relocated and he is living with his father who is a history college professor. His best friend and confidant had been his sister and he has withdrawn within himself greatly in the recent past.

He has only two friends in school and is constantly bullied or the brunt of jokes from the "in" girls. He can't seem to concentrate on his school work, especially history...

And he had a history test tomorrow!

TJ had come home from school, knowing that he had to really put in some hours to even pass the test, but he kept procrastinating by choosing to do other things. Finally, before really settling down, he roamed through the top floor and into his father's bedroom. He immediately was drawn to one thing--a locked drawer in his father's desk!

When his father had written two best-selling books and been promoted, it had also been the beginning of the end of his marriage. His wife knew that there was money now available to help with her relocation. His father had spent many hours working after the family had been split. And he had spent many hours at his desk, and began locking that particular drawer.

TJ figured it had papers about the divorce, but he couldn't understand what seemed to be to him "keeping secrets..." He had become so lonely, even at home, now, since his father was always working or doing research... Why was it so private that he couldn't talk to TJ about what he was doing?

But this time, the drawer was open!

As he thought, there were lots of papers there...but there was also a small green book...

And when he opened it, he felt a tingling feeling...and then...

He woke up on an old trail in the woods...

He was alone with not another person or place in sight! Lost in a wilderness. He looked down and his clothes were no longer his school clothes! These appeared to be hand-sewn, of a material that was rough and itchy! On his feet were pioneer shoepacks... He seemed to know things about his clothes and even his surroundings like he was being given information... But, for right now, he had to find somebody or some place and started walking...

I won't go into all that he met on what was to become TJ's greatest adventure; however, he did meet a man who immediately knew he needed help and befriended him, taking him home. TJ had quickly realized that he would have to "act" like he lived in that time and place so he told the man that his family had been killed.

Suddenly TJ was "living" history rather than having to study it! And what he learned changed him greatly! He met the family and took his place on a farm, where he had to help with the hard work necessary to keep them alive and clothed. He also learned about hunting for game and eating strange foods that had been grown or killed and fixed with herbs, etc., because there was no "fast foods" or pizza! He even met the young David Crockett before he was famous!

Living in a log cabin and then helping neighbors build a new home was one more thing he had experienced... But nothing had prepared him for the terrors of that time--especially from those that had chosen a criminal life of stealing and killing...

This is much more than a movie such as of Davy Crockett's life! This is the opportunity for all of us to move back in time and experience the lives of those who early moved to America, found land and worked that land to build a home and make a living. Would our young people of today change like TJ did by having all modern technology gone from their homes? You know it would! But more importantly, I think, Keene's book allows us to see the family of yesterdays living, working, and worshiping as once was the "norm" in America.

There will be much gained through the experiences found in the green book! We will learn, of course, about our past...but we will also have the the opportunity to see history as exciting! Although I loved the flashback into history, what happened when TJ returned was my favorite part--a surprising, perfect ending to a time travel adventure! I'm already looking forward to the next green book adventure and wondering where we'll find ourselves! Highly recommended, especially for history lovers of every age!


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Reading Progress

09/04/2012 "I'm looking forward to starting this soon!"

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-1 of 1) </span> <span class="smallText">(1 new)</span>

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Jack King Glenda said she hasn't begun NOLICHUCK yet. She meant to add it to her read list. The "1" is NOT her rating; she'll rate after she gets through reading it.

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