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The Hero of Ticonderoga Hardcover – March 19, 2001

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like Ethan Allen, the subject of her oral school report, the narrator of Gauthier's (A Year with Butch and Spike) amusing and affecting novel, set in 1966 Vermont, is sassy, shrewd and outspoken. Tessy's voice crackles with razor-sharp insight and comedic one-liners from the very start, as she tries to decide where to begin her story. When her humorless sixth-grade teacher takes a leave of absence, the substitute scraps the longstanding plan to award the most coveted oral report subject Ethan Allen to the best student in class and instead picks a name randomly. A mediocre student at best, Tessy unwittingly lands the plum assignment. After an initial presentation in which she reports on only several saucy anecdotes from Allen's life, she delivers in installments a detailed chronicle of the life of this pugnacious Revolutionary leader who was instrumental in the founding of Vermont. In between these diverting passages, which balance Tessy's refreshingly quirky interpretation of history with Allen's own words, the girl grapples with some credible issues, among them her embarrassment by her simple, big-hearted parents, who are farmers of French Canadian descent, and her relationship with a stuffy, wealthy classmate. Gauthier sustains her tale's rapid pace and surefire humor throughout, while delivering a history lesson that readers will absorb effortlessly. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-A nonconformist substitute refuses to follow the rules of the rigid teacher he is temporarily replacing and gives a reluctant underdog a chance to play an important role in the classroom. Therese, a sixth-grade "C" student and nonmember of the "elite" clique, wins a drawing to do the "Ethan Allen" oral report, an honor that had always been given to the smartest student in the class. She delivers this report over several days-including a segment told during a class trip to Ft. Ticonderoga. She draws in her classmates (as well as readers) with her storytelling abilities and her wit. In addition to giving a lot of information about an American hero, the author addresses important issues with humor and sensitivity: school and community prejudices, alienation, and peer acceptance. This story takes place in rural Vermont in 1966, but the dynamics are contemporary and universal.-Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (March 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399235590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399235597
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,332,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gail Gauthier is the author of eight books, including "The Hero of Ticonderoga," an ALA Notable Book, and the two volumes of the "Hannah and Brandon Stories" series, "A Girl, a Boy, and a Monster Cat," and "A Girl, a Boy, and Three Robbers," which were both selected as Junior Library Guild offerings. Her books have been nominated for readers' choice awards in six states, and published in foreign editions in Italy, Germany, France, and Japan. She has spoken in schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, as well as at professional conferences for teachers, librarians, and writers. Her essays have appeared at "The Millions," "Literary Mama," and "The Horn Book," and her short fiction has been published by "Alimentum." She maintains the weblog "Original Content," where she writes about children's literature and writing, as well as time management for writers. She is an active member of the Kidlitosphere and has served as a judge for the Cybils, the children's and young adult bloggers' literary awards. Her novel "Saving the Planet & Stuff" has been re-released as an eBook.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Baratz-Logsted on October 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tessy is an engaging character and it's easy to root for her as she tries to avoid flunking the sixth grade by giving a great report on Ethan Allen. The author certainly knows her history and her geography, and how to write a book that will win over young readers, but her most sterling achievement is that she finesses material that could easily turn pedantic in less sure hands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
Vermont-born Therese LeClerc (Tess to her classmates) is just a C student and far from popular in school, but when her name is drawn out of a hat (shades of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) she is instantly thrown into the spotlight. And she didn't even put her name in for the academic "honor" either! Substitute teacher Mr. Santangelo refuses to accept her indignant and truthful excuse that she did not Want this class distinction: to present the annual oral repot on the state's favorite albeit controversial son, Ethan Allen.

Scenes shift from the classroom to her home, as for the next few weeks Tess struggles to prepare an interesting biographical report with "narrative flow" to impress both the sub teacher and her classmates' annoyed expectations. From offering cheap, stand-up anecdotes about Allen's wild behavior and offensive language she graduates to serious study, until she discovers why he was indeed the Hero of Fort Ticonderoga at the onset of the Revolutionary War. Her research seems endless as she gradually captures the reluctant interest of her peers, and stretches out her report over several days as the crowd clamors for more. Could Tess become popular and academically successful at last? Despite the school setting and inevitable fluff of teenage social dynamics this book offers surprisingly meaty biographical data covering the years before and after the dramatic seizure of the British-held fort on Lake Champlain.

This delightful French Catholic family lives a simple lifestyle on a dairy farm, but at times Tess feel ashamed of her parents-- which makes her feel guiltily disloyal. Brushes with a neighbor's vicious dog, being snubbed by two popular girls, and a field trip to Fort Ti itself fill the pages and the weeks before the real teacher's dreaded return.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
Have you had to redone, redue, redo something over and over again? You're at the end, but go back to the start? If you have, then you know just how the main character in The Hero of Ticonderoga feels.

Therese is a 5th grade girl from Vermont and her teacher has to leave for two months, and gives instructions for the sub to announce an oral report assignment the class has to do on Vermont. One lucky student gets to have the privilege of doing their project on Vermont's Revolutionary hero, Ethan Allen. As you may have thought, Therese gets picked to do the "fabulous" project. She doesn't want to do the project like someone doesn't want a wet donkey in a fourth of July parade. But now has to do it in front of the class. She doesn't get to do it just once, but 4 times. Now that's ridiculous!

Therese at the end realizes that she is more than just a good oral reporter, but a good actor! She also finds friends who she thought could never be. And enemies she thought were her friends, but stabbed her in the back like a little kid spits out spinach.

You might think that this book is a girlie book, but it's about someone finding out who they really while going through friendship obstacles, mean teachers, and family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Presenting an oral report can be an adventure! Ticonderoga tells about a girl in school who gives an oral report of Ethan Allen, the first leader of Vermont's Green Mountain. This book is packed with historical events that will amaze you!

A girl named Theresee isn't happy about the way she looks and her life. Theresee never got invited to parties, and she never liked her parents. One day when she went to school she had to do a report about a leader called Ethan Allen. When her substitute teacher Mr. Santanggelo told her to do the report, all of her classmates gathered around her desk as if they wanted to trade with her. They wanted to trade because they thought her person would be easier to research. It turned out, it was hard to find a lot of information on Ethan Allen, but Theresee didn't give up. She learned a lot of facts about Ethan Allen and became a shining star in her class. She finally felt good about herself.

This book thought me a lot about history. I never knew anything about Ethan Allen before this book. This book is a good book for an older student or an adult who likes history.
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