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The Great Turkey Walk

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,096 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Yeeeeeee-haw! Git along, little . . . turkeys?

Big, brawny Simon Green, who's just completed third grade (for the fourth time), may not be book smart, but he's nobody's fool. When it's time to be done with school and make his way in the world, Simon hatches a plan that could earn him a bundle. He intends to herd a huge flock of bronze turkeysall the way from his home in eas
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Square Fish (first published 1998)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,096 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Une épopée vivifiante, racontée sur le ton de l'humour cocasse, mais qui décrit très bien l'ambiance western avec ses espoirs et ses désillusions. On partage avec notre équipe de bras cassés un élan de convivialité, d'optimisme et d'aventure qui fait un bien fou ! Franchement top.
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to the 9yo to go along with our history studies.

Summary: Set in 1860, the book starts with 15-year-old Simon Green being politely graduated from school and told to go find his place in the world. Simon is quite taken aback, as he has just finished third grade for the fourth time and he'd figured on being in school quite some time to get the rest of the grades completed. Simple-minded Simon comes upon a plan to walk a flock of a thousand turkeys from his hometown in
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
My kids found this funny and I thought it was moderately educational (Westward expansion, pioneer life, etc). Very young children might be upset or confused by the fact that the lead villain is the lead hero's father. The violence is done in a cartoon-y way with no one actually getting hurt (again possibly not a good choice for very young children though). What is sweet about the story is it's a bunch of seeming losers/misfits (a teenage boy considered stupid by most of his hometown, a man who b ...more
i didnt really like this book the only part i liked was when he took the turkeys to denver
Leana Lapin
In the “The Great Turkey Walk” by Kathleen Karr, in the beginning a 15 year old, Simon, who just finished third grade for the fourth time; decided that he would take a whole batch of turkeys and walk to Denver so that he would be able to sell the Turkey’s and begin a new Business with Mr. Peece who drove the mules so Simon can keep control of the Turkeys and lead them. Simons Mother died 10 years ago and his father left, leaving him with his aunt and uncle, who he left. As their on their journe ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love browsing for books at used bookstores while on vacation, and getting this fun, quirky book was the result of stopping in at Booked on 25th in Ogden, Utah, last weekend.

The mob of turkeys on the cover grabbed my attention. Turkeys can almost always guarantee humor. This adventure of herding those turkeys is well-paced. It has its hurdles and challenges, but is optimistic and lighthearted.

And, as a bonus, the last page talks a little about historical turkey walks that the book was loosely
Sarah Howard
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
By far JD’s favorite!!
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was recommended to me by my 13 yr old nephew, J.D. We loved it! Simon proves everyone wrong by succeeding in his huge venture.

Read to my children at lunch.

2018 - A book based on a true story.
Ezra Schnadig
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought the book was great. However certain parts of the story were not very realistic. The story starts out with Simon Greene, a fifteen-year-old boy who has just finished up his fourth year of third grade. His mother died and his father left him, so he lives with his aunt and uncle and their kids. He gets an idea one night to go take turkeys to Denver where they are worth five dollars a piece. Five dollars nowadays for a Turkey is almost nothing but back then it was the equivalent of 160 dol ...more
Grace Harvey
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was delightfully funny and full of believable characters set in wacky situations. Although grasshopper swarms and wannabe turkey-rustlers on camels may seem out of the realm of possibility, The Great Turkey Walk has a narrative that is perfect for including these types of impossible issues. The story is about 15-year-old Simon Green, who has just completed third grade for the fourth time and is unceremoniously graduated from his school. He is unable to get a job, because who wants to h ...more
Danica Midlil
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was hilarious! Excellent as an audiobook.
After completing the third grade for the fourth time, fifteen year old Simon Green is summarily graduated by his teacher. “Go out in the world and spread your wings, Simon,” she says. She is sorry to see him go, Simon has always been her kindest and most helpful student. (After all, he single-handedly cuts all the firewood in the winter.) Once Simon finds that Missouri turkeys sell for twenty times the local price in the hungry boom town of Denver, h
Nov 16, 2010 rated it liked it
In 1860 after completing 3rd grade for the 4th time, 15 year old Simon decides it's time to venture out into the world and seek his fortune. His "bird brained" idea is to walk 1,000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver where meat is scarce and sell the turkeys at a big profit. So begins the turkey walk. Along the way, Simon and his washed up mule driver Mr. Peece, are joined by a runaway slave and a newly orphaned homesteader girl. Together they face turkey rustlers, eloquent Indians, hungry US caval ...more
Dec 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Parent to read with their children
A fun filled story, written to draw the reader in and keep you wondering what is going to face the unlikely group of travelers. I and my son truely loved it.
My kids love this book. Great (and funny) read-aloud.
The Great Turkey Walk is a hilarious, fun, and enjoyable book to read aloud as a family!
Christopher J.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I actually had a blast reading this to my sons. I sometimes put on an accent even while reading it.

Simon is not a smart kid and was left back a lot. When it came to the time that he was fifteen years old, his teacher said she couldn't teach him any longer, as that is how far she taught for school. Since he graduated, he decided he had to make something out of his life. His teacher was always really inspiring to him and told him to spread his wings. That is when he noticed all the turkeys on a fa
Wendi Wanders
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Very funny. Good free read for 9-12 y.o.
15 y.o Simon Green isn't good at school but he is strong, hardworking, fairly sensible, and good with birds. He takes a thousand turkeys on foot from Missouri to Denver to sell at a profit. Along the way he helps and is helped by a recovering drunk (recovering because Simon ties him up until sober), a 15 boy escaping slavery, and a 16 y.o. girl experiencing prairie madness.
They meet Indians, locust, the cavalry (who behave ignobly), avaritious to
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the story of fifteen-year-old Simon, who has been "graduated" after repeating third grade five times without making progress. Simon has long been told he is pea-brained, both by his fellow students and his less-than-loving aunt, uncle, and cousins, but his teacher tells him he is capable. Simon learns from a turkey farmer that turkeys would be worth vastly more in booming frontier-town Denver than they are in Simon's native Missouri, and Simon takes it into his head to purchase a flock a ...more
Sharon M. Peterson
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this aloud to my four kiddos. When I finished, my nine-year-old:
1. said he was sad because it's over,
2. hoped there was a sequel, and
3. is now contemplating a career in turkey farming.

All that to say, we loved this book. Simon Green, our narrator, is 15-year-old, and admittedly "not too smart" but he's also endearing and so likable. His voice comes through immediately.That made it a fun read-aloud. As a mother of a child with dyslexia, I loved that Simon wasn't exactly "book smart (I susp
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
My absolute favorite thing about this book is that my 4 y/o heard the teacher say in the first chapter that it was time for the main character to "spread his wings" and became convinced that he was actually a turkey. He didn't realize that the character was a human until 2/3rds of the way into the book when a grasshopper tried to fly into his mouth and my son was wondering why he didn't just eat it if he was a turkey. It still cracks me up when I think about it.

Real review: Fun, lighthearted bo
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has been one of our all-time favorites so far! Such a cute story, with excellent character development. The narrator (a 15-year old boy named Simon Green) has a very unique "voice" that is easy to read and easy to like. The adventure throughout the story will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens, and even if you didn't think you liked turkeys at the beginning of the story, this book will have you rooting for them and for Simon to complete their journey!
Tamara York
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A terrific read aloud for November! We all really enjoyed it. A historical fiction journey story following Simon, a teenage boy, and his ragtag group of friends as they drive 1,000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver in 1890. The characters have dimension and a lot of heart. My only gripe is that the story is told from Simon’s perspective and the whole book used country twang and improper grammar. It’s fun for awhile, but it got to be a difficult read aloud after a bit.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I normally don’t give 5 stars but my 11 year old son insisted. This is a humorous book about a simple kid Simon who strikes a deal and decides to take turkeys for a walk to earn some money. He gets into all kinds of funny mishaps along the way. We read this with our Byl curriculum. Cute book to read before Thanksgiving
Heather Moore
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lex-me-2018
This book was the best kind of surprise. I read it aloud with my 11 year old, and didn’t expect much from it. But as the story progressed, we both fell in love with Simon’s resilience and his excellent character. Fun read aloud, but probably would’ve been better as an audiobook as the sentence structure got wonky at times making me trip over my tongue. Even so, five stars!
Dean Holte
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Charming and funny old west tale that brushes against hard truths of the time (soldiers, slavery, treatment of Native Americans, and conmen) while keeping it in the realm of adventure along the pioneering frontier.
Sarah Middlestead
Eli: 4⭐, Abby: 5, Grace: 5⭐

It is impossible to NOT read this adventure with a bit of a Southern drawl. 15-year old Simon walks 1,000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver, making friends and enemies along the way. A love interest is added towards the end, which seemed strange and unnecessary to me.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An EXCELLENT read! My 11 year old absolutely loved it! It was a wonderful book to share in together and I'm so glad we found it! Clean but a little rough around the ages- a perfect coming of age book to read together.
I loved this book! I was incapable of putting it down. Had to read in one setting. It was humorous, the characters were enjoyable, the plot was great, and it was written masterfully. I completely disappeared inside the story.
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Kathleen Karr was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and grew up on a chicken farm in Dorothy, New Jersey. After escaping to college, she worked in the film industry, and also taught in high school and college. She seriously began writing fiction on a dare from her husband. After honing her skills in women’s fiction, her children asked her to write a book for them, (It Ain’t Always Easy, Farrar, Str ...more