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Buck Fever Hardcover – October 27, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; First Edition, First Printing edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312382979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312382971
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,071,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Buck Fever:
“Willis's (Dog Gone) second novel nicely weaves a few familiar tropes into an entertaining and intense tale. … The result is a satisfying novel filled with solid characters who learn the consequences of making some hard choices.”—Publishers Weekly
“The quietness of nature and small-town life is wonderfully reflected in Willis’ patient and artful prose, and every hunting detail feels authentic, from the construction of deer blinds to the skinning of animals. An unusually sensitive and reflective boy-centric book.”—Booklist
“This novel is not an anti-hunting treatise, but rather one that develops a theme of tolerance along multiple lines. Joey’s distaste for hunting, his mother’s desire to pursue a career, and the antisocial habits of another major character cause problems with friends, family, and neighbors until the issues are brought into the open and negotiated between people of good will. The story’s villains are poachers and drunken, careless hunters who spoil the woods and the wildlife for everyone else—hunters and nature lovers alike”— VOYA
Praise for Cynthia Chapman Willis's Dog Gone:
“I couldn't put this down. More than a dog story, this is a many-layered tale of loss and grief, hope and triumph.”—Ann M. Martin, Newbery Honor winner and author of A Dog’s Life
“Along with the emotional content comes the mystery of Dead End, with tension that continues to rise as Dill tries to determine if her dog is a killer, and, if so, how to save him.”—Booklist
“Set on a Southern farm, the author peppers her story with homey turns of phrases and strong secondary characters . . . Willis, an author to watch, keeps the narrative tightly focused on Dill and her resistance to facing her grief. This well-told story, spiced with humor and facts on animal care, has a satisfying, appealing conclusion.”—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

CYNTHIA CHAPMAN WILLIS’s first novel, Dog Gone, was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “satisfying, appealing . . . a well-told story, spiced with humor and facts on animal care,” and she was called “an author to watch.” A former editor, she now writes full-time, and lives in New Jersey with her family.

More About the Author

Cynthia Chapman Willis is the author of DOG GONE, a middle grade novel published by Feiwel and Friends. She has also spent more years than she is willing to admit to as an editor of educational books and materials for children. Her second middle grade novel, BUCK FEVER, also published by Feiwel and Friends, will be released in the fall of 2009. Cynthia lives with her family in New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Nickolas Cooper on January 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sure to be a favorite. Good read with fun characters. Deer hunters will love this book. I enjoyed reading it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Twelve-year-old Joey MacTagert loves the outdoors and loves target shooting with his dad. He's also an expert tracker and spends hours alone in the woods, tracking animals for fun--and (unbeknownst to his dad) to draw pictures of them. He's a gifted artist.

What Joey doesn't have any enthusiasm for is hunting. He's kind-hearted, loves animals and has no desire to kill anything. That's a problem, though, because Joey's dad fully expects his son to carry on the MacTagert family tradition of hunting. And now that Joey's twelve, the time has come.

BUCK FEVER opens on the first day of antlered deer season, with Joey's dad imagining that his son will kill his first buck. Joey on the other hand, is sick to his stomach; loathe to let his father down, but loathe to kill.

Tensions increase from page one, with pressure coming from a variety of sources. Things at the MacTagert household aren't going well. Joey's mom has a new job that requires lots of travel and time away from the family, and Joey's dad is on edge. Unhappy. Joey and his older sister Philly find themselves in the middle of the unrest, desperately seeking ways to help--or escape.

BUCK FEVER is a great story, with lots of unexpected twists. And it's an excellent father/son tale. The characters are multi-faceted and well-drawn, the dialog is great. My son and I just this summer completed a Hunter Safety course, and have been target shooting a lot lately--and I can tell you--Willis's descriptions are spot on. Her details (about the weapons, the deer blind, etc)--make the story come to life.

Willis's pacing is also great, and there's plenty of action and suspense throughout. Highly recommend.
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By Darcy Wishard on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Hitchcock on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Set in rural Pennsylvania during deer hunting season, this is a novel about a family in trouble. Twelve-year-old Joey MacTagert used to have a picture perfect family. But that was before his mom took a job that involves lots of travel, his dad started drinking, and Joey and his sister Philly were left to pretty much take care of themselves. Now the house is a mess, there's no food in the frig, and Joey's outgrown his winter coat...not that anyone's noticing.

The only way Joey can think to connect with his dad is by deer hunting. His dad is an avid hunter, and it's a long standing tradition in the MacTagert family. The only problem is the thought of shooting a deer makes Joey sick to his stomach.

Should Joey try to be something he's not in order to bond with his dad? And if so, what will he lose in the process?
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