The Tuckers Trouble on Valley View

I took advantage of a two-for-one deal on Bookmooch and was able to get The Tuckers Trouble on Valley View, by Jo Mendel, and Troy Nesbit’s The Jinx of Payrock Canyon. I don’t actively collect either of these Whitman series, but I pick them up when I see them and these are both in great condition.

I was just looking through the first few pages of Trouble on Valley View to see what this volume was about, and before I knew it I was sucked in. There are five Tucker kids–Tina, Terry, Merry, Penny, and Tom–in addition to dog, cat, and parents, which makes for one zany household. The best comparison I can make is to the Moffats books by Eleanor Estes.

This is the fourth volume of the series, which began with the family’s move to suburban Yorkville, but by this point some of the charm has worn off. Tina is sulky, the twins are constantly bickering, Penny cries at the drop of a hat, Tom feels left out when his older siblings go to school, and Toby won’t stay out of the neighbors’ yards. It’s enough to make Mr. and Mrs. Tucker want to pack up their brood and head back for the city! Can the kids convince their parents to stay–and do they even want to?

There’s not really much suspense in the plot, but there’s not really meant to be. Instead the story follows their day-to day adventures such as the school orchestra, the cave they dig, and the camping club, zooming in on members of the family in certain chapters. I loved when the author would give Toby’s thoughts, especially concerning his “good friend” the neighbor. Even though the point is for the kids to focus on the positive side and work towards getting along, it doesn’t feel like an actual moral.  Basically it’s just good fun that’s actually believable. (I love the Bobbsey Twins, but there’s no way a real family ever has that many adventures.)

Whitman had a lot of series in the 1960 in order to compete with the Stratemeyer Syndicate, and all the ones I’ve read have held up well–Troy Nesbit’s adventure stories, Donna Parker, Annette. This is my fifth Tucker book, and I believe there are four more for me to track down in addition to the Tell-A-Tale volumes for younger readers.

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Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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