By Cynthia Chapman Willis
Released October 27, 2009
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Twelve-year-old Joey MacTagert’s dad wants his son to carry on the family tradition of hunting. But Joey has “buck fever”—he can’t pull the trigger on a deer, and hates the idea of killing animals. He’s more interested in art and hockey, two activities that his dad barely acknowledges.
Joey’s dad wants him to use his special skill in tracking to hunt down the big antlered buck that roams the woods near their home. Joey knows how to track Old Buck, but has kept secret from his father the reason he’s gained the deer’s trust. When trouble between his parents seems to escalate, Joey and his older sister, Philly, find themselves in the middle of tensions they don’t fully understand. Joey wants to keep the peace, and if conquering his buck fever will do it, he has to try.
As much as I detest it when kids in the library say "Ew Mrs. Wishard, that's a girl book" or vice-versa...I have to admit this book is a killer book for boys and well, girls who are into hunting.
I especially think it is great for boys because in addition to the hunting theme there is also a great storyline about boys and their fathers and the dynamics of father-son relationships.
This is a well written book that would be great for a middle schooler. There is even a little bit of mystery and suspense surrounding a reclusive neighbor who is rumored to kill trespassers in the woods surrounding his home...an after effect caused by his time serving in the Vietnam war.
Best suited for 5th grade and up.