Posts Tagged ‘percykeesefitzhugh’

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Tom Slade on the River

September 11, 2017

Tom Slade on the River is set a year after Tom Slade at Temple Camp, but it feels like the second half of the same book, and only partly because it resolves a mystery that was set up in Temple Camp.

The first section combines most of my favorite things about Tom Slade. When the scouts arrive at Temple Camp and find a clue indicating that someone is injured and stranded on a mountain, Tom is the only one who immediately decides to try to find him. Everyone else just kind of accepts that something awful is happening, but for Tom it’s a matter of course that he has to at least try to do something. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tom Slade at Temple Camp

September 1, 2017

I think I must have randomly come across Tom Slade at Temple Camp in a used bookstore when I was in high school. It was the first Percy Keese Fitzhugh book I read, and the one I’ve reread the most. So it’s hard to tell whether I think it’s good because it is good, or if I think it’s good because I love it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tom Slade: Boy Scout of the Moving Pictures

August 3, 2017

I don’t really know what the deal is with the Tom Slade series. It looks like Percy Keese Fitzhugh was hired to write a novelization of a silent film and just kind of…ran with it. He wrote Tom Slade a whole series, and did the same for several of his friends. But however it happened, I’m glad it did.

Tom Slade: Boy Scout of the Moving Pictures is the first book, and it’s hard to me to talk about it without jumping ahead and talking about the series as a whole, because Fitzhugh is a better writer than this project called for, and Tom is easily my favorite boys’ series character. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tom Slade’s Double Dare

March 12, 2008

There’s a particular kind of plot, particularly common in adventure novels, where the hero, after having done something particularly heroic, is thought to have done something bad instead and is shunned by everyone until he is vindicated at the end.

I suspect that this was the only plot Percy Keese Fitzhugh knew how to write. His Tom Slade series is a paean to it. But if he only did one thing, he did it well. The Tom Slade series is my favorite boys’ series. None of the several companion series have the same self-righteous (but not sulky) angst that the Tom Slade books do. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Pee-Wee Harris and the Sunken Treasure

September 14, 2007

Pee-Wee Harris and the Sunken Treasure was pretty disappointing. But I shouldn’t have been expecting much — this is the first Pee-Wee Harris book I’ve read, but I’ve read a couple of the Roy Blakeley books, and it’s like Percy Keese Fitzhugh added a lot more jokes and thought no one would notice that he took out everything else. Oh well — at least the Pee-Wee Harris books have a third-person narrator.
Read the rest of this entry ?

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Tom Slade on Mystery Trail

August 17, 2007

Usually when I read an old book I’ve bought, I think a little about what I’m going to write about it here. It’ a testament to how much I love the Tom Slade books that it wasn’t until I was practically done with Tom Slade on Mystery Trail that it occurred to me that I probably ought to post about it on my blog.

I first encountered Tom Slade and his author, Percy Keese Fitzhugh, in Tom Slade at Temple Camp, which was a gift from a friend, and he has since become my favorite boys’ series character. Fitzhugh wrote several other series about Tom’s boy scout friends, but Roy Blakeley, Pee-Wee Harris, and Westy Martin aren’t quite in Tom Slade’s league.

It’s hard to explain why Tom Slade is so cool. He’s sort of the strong, silent type, and he’s a little awkward with people sometimes. He’s the perfect boy scout, but he doesn’t always appear to be — like when he avoids saving a boy from drowning so that someone else can do it and get the badge awarded for saving someone’s life. He’s very low key, and I love that.

In Tom Slade on Mystery Trail, Tom isn’t the central character. He’s just helping out another boy, who, although he’s completely unlike Tom in personality, has that same selfless-boy-scout-honor thing going on. Hervey Willetts is one of those kids who obsesses over a project until it’s done and then forgets all about it. So his troop decides that he’s the ideal scot to win the Eagle badge — which, unlike today, simply involves winning 21 different other badges. But it’s just a few days until the Temple Camp awards ceremony, and Hervey is one badge short.

He almost got the tracking badge, but the tracks he was following were also being followed by Skinny McCord, the Bridgeboro troop’s newest — and weirdest — member. If Hervey claims the tracks, he gets the tracking badge and the Eagle badge. If Skinny does, he gets the tracking badge and becomes a second-class scout — pretty much the lowest honor there is, but Skinny’s really excited about it, so Hervey pretends he never saw the tracks and lets Skinny take the credit.

Hervey’s troop is really upset — they feel like he’s let them down, and they call him fickle because he says he doesn’t care about being an Eagle scout anymore. That’s because he’s been talking to Tom Slade, who understands that by the time a boy is a true Eagle scout, he doesn’t care about the honor anymore. It’s adorable, really. And then it turns out that Hervey has earned some kind of animal rescue badge without realizing it — because he never looks at his boy scout handbook — and is an Eagle scout after all, although no one would know if it weren’t for Tom Slade.

Also, there’s and oriole and a turtle who help Tom and Hervey rescue a kidnapped kid. But while that’s cute, the storyline about Hervey’s honor and self-sacrifice is even cuter.