The Great Turkey Walk
Kathleen Karr
1998

Do you need a good laugh? A rollicking good read? Lighter fare after The Hunger Games? Then this is the book for you! 

Back in the day… oh ’bout 1860, Simon Green takes it on himself to walk 1000 turkeys clear across Missouri and Kansas to the great city of Denver ‘cuz he might be able to make a profit on those birds, seeing as how they ain’t many turkeys in Denver. Told in Simon’s engaging drawl, Karr illustrates one of those rare historical oddities that we’ve forgotten about: livestock “walks” in which someone literally walked livestock a great distance, usually to sell at their destination. And turkeys were among those livestock!

Simon is rather simple, but his teacher finally graduates him–he’s just finished 3rd grade for the 4th time, and she decides this 15-year-old needs to start living. Simon turns out to have a fair business sense, hatches his hair brained scheme to walk 1000 turkeys to Denver from his small Missouri town, and meets up with various folks along the way. Adventure, danger, and friendship follow Simon as he completes his march.

I love Simon’s keen sense of the true worth of people and animals. He welcomes people into his little group that others have overlooked or forgotten about or written off–and shows that they are tremendously worthwhile folks. He is a true friend and an honest man. Well worth reading.

Highly recommended! Reading level somewhere around middle-upper elementary; read aloud appropriate for whole family

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