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The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice


Lucas' entire family has died, one by one, of tuberculosis, known as consumption in the mid-1800s. Wandering through the Connecticut countryside in grief, Lucas ends up becoming the new apprentice to Dr. Uriah M. Beecher, also the local dentist, apothecary, barber, and undertaker. Lucas' new community is being decimated by consumption, and the local people want to try a technique rumored to work: digging up the remains of the first family member to die, removing and burning the heart, and breathing in the smoke. Dr. Beecher is certain this is useless at best, but Lucas feels sure it is worth a try. DeFelice skillfully gives readers enough historical information to see the reasoning behind the macabre practice and creates in Lucas a flesh and blood boy going through a most difficult time.



Watch this booktalk to get more information as others discuss their views of this book.


Your Summer Assignment

1. Read the book and enjoy! Fill out a PLOT SHEET!!!!!!!!!!


2. Post responses to two of the level 1 questions listed on the "Discussion" page, and two of the level 2 questions listed on the "Discussion" page.


3. Pick one of the following "Prove-It" Projects from the list found on the Summer Reading "Home" Page:

A. Project 1: Create book for younger student.

B. Project 7: Prepare a skit or re-creation of a favorite scene. Act it out live or film it to view it in class.

C. Select a character from the book who appealed to you. Write a diary with at least one week's worth of entries that this person might have kept. Be sure it relates to the events in the book.



Please use my email to ask any questions or discuss the book over the summer. Happy Reading!!!!!!!!!!