Texas Bluebonnet Award 2014-2015

Resources for the TBA Nominees

Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck

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The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck
by Emily Fairlie

Scroll down to find Related Activities & Resources, Book Talk Teasers, Read Alikes, and Book Reviews.

Readers Theater Script – Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck (PDF)


Background Information

Links to author, publisher and illustrator information:
Emily Fairlie (aka Emily Ecton) website:

Emily Ecton (aka Emily Fairlie) website :

Emily Fairlie print interview:

Emily Ecton print interviews:



Emily Fairlie’s dog Binky and friends recommend books:

Illustrator website (Antonio Javier Caparo):

Book trailer for The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bDFMNs62YI  (1:01) Official trailer

Cluckers Fight Song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a9XtsyA3AI&feature=em-upload_owner[/embed] (1:30)

Artists, architects and authors, and others named in the book:
From the author’s website: information on artists and architects in the book with an interesting feature revealing where each appeared in the book:

Picasso’s images of roosters and doves:


Emily Dickinson: Brief biography and her poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers”:


English Romantic poets:

John Keats: short biography and his poem “To Mrs. Reynold’s Cat”:


Brief biography of Homer:

Brief biography of William Shakespeare and facts about the Globe Theater:


Short biography of Ferdinand Magellan, including a video (2:10):


Related Activities

Publisher website with one printable activity for the book:
http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/books/Lost-Treasure-Tuckernuck/?isbn13=9780062118905&tctid=100 (Click on left side bar)

Discussion questions:
Helpful sections:  “What parents need to know” and “Explore, discuss, enjoy”

Clucker Fight Song:
Words to Clucker Fight Song (also on p. 63 in book)

Music to Clucker Fight Song (“Washington and Lee Swing”)

Chicken hat craft:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3JLJB_mA-4 (video 4:01)

http://www.oneperfectdayblog.net/2012/04/04/easy-easter-craft-for-kids-bunny-and-chicken-easter-party-hats/  (Scroll down)

Lesson plan about sugar in our diets:

Creating treasure or scavenger hunts for kids:





Riddle clues for treasure hunts:




Read “EIGHTY YEARS EARLIER . . .” (introductory page just before Part One)

Then read “EIGHTY YEARS LATER . . .  New Students Orientation Letter” (the part in the box, at the top of the first chapter, page 1 of book)

Read the 5 “Tips for solving the treasure challenge . . .” inside the front cover flap.


The author’s recommendations:

Other books by Emily Fairlie/Emily Ecton (Author appeal):

Fairlie, Emily. Magician’s bird: a Tuckernuck mystery (Sequel to The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck). While planning a scavenger hunt for their classmates, rising seventh graders Laurie, Bud, and Misti attempt to prove that their beloved school founder is innocent in the murder case of Marchetti the Magician. (WorldCat.org)

Ecton, Emily. Boots and pieces. It’s not easy being Arlie Jacobs. Her big sister bosses her around; her mom makes her dog-sit Mr. Boots, the family’s well-dressed chihuahua; and she’s convinced a strange and squishy swamp creature that lives down at the lake is eating high school kids. When no one believes her, Arlie and her best friend, Ty … set out with Mr. Boots to stop the creature themselves. (Publisher)

Ecton, Emily. The curse of Cuddles McGee. After disturbing a buried coffee can filled with the bones of a hamster and a note warning of a curse, Arlie and Ty start to take the silly curse seriously when Cuddles the hamster rises from the dead and trashes their town. (WorldCat.org)

Ecton, Emily. Night of the living lawn ornaments. When Arlie and Ty find a pendant that makes inanimate objects come to life, things get out of control very fast and they try to figure out a way to reverse the spell before the plastic creatures’ plot for revenge is set in motion. (WorldCat.org)

Ecton, Emily. Project Jackalope. When Jeremy is entrusted with Professor Twitchett’s creation, a jackalope, he must find a way to keep it safe from the government agents who want it for their own purposes. (WorldCat.org)

Other mystery books about solving puzzles (Genre/subject matter appeal):

Anderson, Janet. The last treasure. Thirteen-year-old Ellsworth leaves his father to visit the relatives he has never met and eventually joins forces with Jess, his distant cousin, to uncover family secrets and search for their ancestor’s hidden treasure. (NoveList)

Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer. When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. (WorldCat.org)

Berlin, Eric. The puzzling world of Winston Breen. Puzzle-crazy twelve-year-old Winston and his ten-year-old sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.  (WorldCat.org)

Feldman, Jody. The gollywhopper games. Twelve-year-old Gil Goodson competes against thousands of other children at extraordinary puzzles, stunts, and more in hopes of a fresh start for his family, which has been ostracized since his father was falsely accused of embezzling from Golly Toy and Game Company. (WorldCat.org)

Raskin, Ellen. The Westing game (Newbery Award winner). The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance. (WorldCat.org)

Other books which are fast-paced and suspenseful (Pace appeal):

Balliett, Blue. The Wright 3. In the midst of a series of unexplained accidents and mysterious coincidences, sixth-graders Calder, Petra, and Tommy lead their classmates in an attempt to keep Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Robie House from being demolished. (WorldCat.org)

Bellairs, John. The house with a clock in its walls. A boy goes to live with his magician uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in the walls which is ticking off the minutes until doomsday. (WorldCat.org)

Gutman, Dan. Mission unstoppable. On a cross-country vacation with their parents, twins Coke and Pepsi, soon to be thirteen, fend off strange assassins as they try to come to terms with their being part of a top-secret government organization known as The Genius Files. (WorldCat.org)

Stewart, Trenton Lee. The mysterious Benedict Society (and others in the series). After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. (WorldCat.org)

Other humorous mystery books (tone appeal):

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Mr. Chickee’s messy mission. Flint Future Detective Club members Steven Carter and his friends Russell and Richelle follow Russell’s dog, Rodney Rodent, into a mural to chase a demonic-looking gnome, only to find the mysterious Mr. Chickee on the other side. (NoveList)

Hale, Bruce. The big nap (and other titles in the Chet Gecko series). Someone is turning the students at Emerson Hickey Elementary into zombies, and it’s up to fourth-grade private eye Chet Gecko to find out who. (WorldCat.org)

McCall Smith, Alex. The five lost aunts of Harriet Bean (and others in the Harriet Bean series). When her absent-minded inventor father suddenly remembers that he has five sisters, nine-year-old Harriet Bean, who has never heard of them before, determines to find her unknown aunts so that the unfinished family portrait can be completed. (NoveList)

Wood, Maryrose. The mysterious howling (and others in the Incorrigible children of Ashton Place series). Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball. (NoveList)


The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck. By Emily Fairlie. 2012. 304p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $16.99 (9780062118905). Gr. 4–6. (Booklist Online, October 30, 2012).

Sixth-graders Laurie and Bud are on a quest to discover a treasure hidden at their school, Tuckernuck Hall, by its founder 80 years ago. To find it, they must first puzzle out a series of linked, frustratingly enigmatic clues. Time is not on their side, however, since the school board is considering tearing the school down to sell the property to developers. Add to this mix a “secret school source” (sounds sinister), a pair of bloodthirsty gerbils, and a chicken named Hilda, and you have a story that will intrigue young mystery buffs. First-time novelist Fairlie employs a variety of narrative devices, including amusing lists, phone messages, and e-mails, which add a whimsical air to a cheerful story with likable characters—and some not so likable ones. While the humor occasionally seems a bit forced, the clues are clever, and the mystery will hold the reader’s attention all the way to its surprising conclusion. — Michael Cart

Horn Book:
Fairlie, Emily The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck

287 pp. HarperCollins/Tegen 2012. ISBN 978-0-06-211890-5
(4) 4-6 Illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo. Laurie, a reluctant student at Tuckernuck Hall, and Bud, an academic overachiever, team up to solve a generations-old chain of clues left behind by the school’s founder. Fairlie leads her protagonists (and readers) through a series of initially obtuse riddles that are often solved by convenience rather than wit. Still, fans of treasure hunts will enjoy the challenge. (Fall 2013 Guide) Reprinted from The Horn Book Guide by permission of The Horn Book, Inc., www.hbook.com

School Library Journal:
Fairlie, Emily. Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck

Gr 4–6—Sixth-grader Laurie is miserable. Her parents have enrolled her in their alma mater, Tuckernuck Hall, which is falling apart and is about to be torn down by a vengeful school board. On top of that, her unfortunate classroom assignment is gerbil duty with the school social outcast, Bud, and everyone has to wear humiliating chicken hats for school assemblies. Laurie wants to transfer to Hamilton to be with her best friend, Kimmy, but her parents are fiercely loyal to the school and are convinced that the building has historical value and shouldn’t be destroyed. Laurie distracts herself with decoding the puzzle the founder of the school created 80 years before. No one knows what the promised treasure is and no one’s been able to unravel the clues. She ends up on a wild scavenger hunt with Bud, tracking down old items that hold famous poems, odd clues, and random letters leading them back to a chicken painting that began it all. But Hilda the chicken is not what she appears to be. Interspersed throughout the text are lists by Laurie and other classmates as well as email from school administrators, which give readers a window into what is happening behind the scenes. Bud and Laurie are well-developed characters, and the plot is fast paced and often funny. Readers are kept guessing about the treasure until the very end. A great read for fans of mystery or puzzles.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA


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