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Our current Book review:

Meyers' Creek

Connie Brummel Crook
Toronto, ON., Stoddart Publishers, 293pp, paper

The latest unedited postings from our participating classes.

Meyers' Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Review by Chuck Anderson, Grade 7
Range Lake North School
Yellowknife, NT
April 10, 1996 updated

What happened between chapter 3 and chapter 18:
The men let Mary come along on the raid. They visited their Grandparents house, and then went on with the raid. It was successful, and they got a lot of furiture and other valuables out of it. George (one of Mary's brothers) and Mary went to get their old dog, Boots. They all went back to the farm. A few months later, John (a family friend) married Catherine (a sister of Mary). Mary was a little jealous. John and Catherine went to John's cabin in the woods. John traded mostly with natives in the area. Somewhere along the way, Catherine got pregnant. Months passed, and about 2 weeks before she gave birth, Mary came to stay and bring Catherine home when it was almost time. Mary discovered that she didn't like John any more and they sort of became enemies. At the cabin, some natives came and stole the rum that was in a shed. John, Catherine and Mary left to go the the farm, but they had to stop in an old hunting cabin of John's because of rain. Catherine had the baby in there.

The setting moves along with the main character, Mary. John's has a small two room log cabin in the woods. It has windows, table, chairs, beds ect. Outside, there is an area surrounded by a solid wooden fence. Near the gate, there is a small cabin which is John's trading post. It has many items to trade to people. Out behind the cabin, there is a small shed and a vegetable garden. The shed has barrels of rum in it, which are covered with straw. As the story goes along, John, Catherine and Mary come to a very small cabin John has for when he's away. It is in the middle of the woods, surrounded by trees. There's nothing very special about it, and it has the usual bed, table and chairs.

What I think about the book so far:
It's pretty good. The writing level is constant, and it is well paced. I can't complain about the descriptions of things, and I now understand a portion of the adventure that was missing in the first 3 chapters.

From chapter18 to the End:
Catherine named her baby John Jr. (Johnnie), after his father. Tobius and George went hunting for a bear in their fields one day and George accidentily shot and killed Tobius. George went away for a year, to do some work in a town. Catherine got pregnant again, and gave birth to baby George. She died hours later though, and was burried next to Tobius. Before she died, Catherine made Mary promise to take care of her babies and John. A couple of years later John and Mary wanted to get married but Mary's father wouldn't let them. Mary and John ended up sneaking away to elope. The story ended with everyone happy and friends with each other again.

The setting remains pretty much the same. If you've been reading my previous reports, you'll know what the basic setting is Bleecker's Castle, the Meyer farm, etc.

My Opinion of the Book:
It is a good book. A well written acount of an active time period in the life of the Meyer family. The author does a good job of describing what life was like at that time for Loyalists.

The book is a true story, and it has a good historical section on the Meyers and the Bleeckers.

Meyers' Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Review by Lisa Hung, Grade 7
Niakwa Place School
Winnipeg, Manitoba
February 13, 1996

Meyers' Creek was exciting from the minute I began reading. Its riveting description took my breath away and caused a spellbinding effect that wouldn't let me put the book down.

It's about a self-determined nineteen year old girl named Mary Meyers. Her familly moves to a new country, Canada, with many dangers that are extremely well displayed in this book.

Connie B. Crook makes me feel very passionately about all the characters. Their personalities are very distinct. And the literature was so beautiful that it made me laught and cry.

I felt immediately drawn into the story, and it didn't take long to enter the plot.

Mary, Catherine, Tobias, George, Leonard, Jacob, Anna, Lucy, John, Polly and Hans fight through many struggles. Their struggles make them grow to be more mature and it's easy to like all of them.

Then as if the story were not enought itself, at the end I learn that these people really existed and I felt even stronger about it. I think everyone should read this book. It was thoroughly enjoyable and exciting.

Meyers' Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Review by Suzanne Jobse
Gibbons School
Gibbons, Alberta

Meyers' Creek is a true story of a real family. It's a book that's full of dangerous, sad, and exciting moments that will make you think you were there. The words in the book are very descriptive, and the dialogue is great.

One of the main characters in the book is Mary Meyers, a nineteen year old girl who is looking for adventure. Together, she and her family face danger, heartache, and happiness throughout this long book.

I would recommend this book to older readers, like Grade six, Junior High, etc. But I'm sure that whoever reads it will be wanting to read more books written by this great author: Connie Brummel Crook.

Meyers' Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Reviews by Mrs. Gerspacher's Class
St. Angela School
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
updated March 17, 1996

This book is getting even more interesting. I love this book more than any other I have read. The relationships are very special and are neat to read about.

Peter Morgan

Today in Meyer's Creek, Mary's grandpa decided it would be best if Mary didn't stay with them because of her being a Loyalist. So, they left. While they were leaving, Mary's Dad and brothers came down the road and entered the house. I wonder if Mary's dad will decide that he wants to see his brother anyway.

Blair Bowman

Meyer's Creek seemed like a different book because it was in times when there were no cars or even T.V.'s. By what I have heard so far, the women dressed quite differently during this period. Some of the practices (tar and feathering) seem quite savage by todays standards.

Kurtis Sollosy

The setting of this peculiar story is at a farm called Meyer's Creek in the summertime. My first thoughts about this book is that it looks very interesting. I like to learn about people in the olden days. The thing I have a great interest in is tarring and feathering. I wonder how hot the tar is and how people could sometimes die from it? I think this is a very romantic book like when Mary and John start liking each other. I think that Mary is like the character in "Hero of Lesser Causes" named Keely because Mary is taking the risk of going into danger. One thing I wonder is why all the girls have to do all the work?

Melanie Harack

Mary's dad got upset with Mary because he thought she had run off with John. Mary met up with an old friend of hers named Lucy and they went to a dance. Mary's dad still hadn't dropped her off anywhere and I think she might be going on the trip! I hope she does. I hate when people think guys are better than girls.

Ashley Schneider

I think that it was a good idea for Mary's father to let her come on the trip with them. They needed a woman in the group to make it look normal. I think that it is wrong for Mary's grandfather to have black people as slaves. What is a loyalist? Please tell me. Why must they stay in hiding? Is it because the government won't get suspicious?

Rachel Barre

My feeling about the first chapter is that Mary should have not gone with them because she could have been in danger when they got to New York. The setting of this chaper is on a farm somewhere in Canada probably in Ontario. It was based in the olden days in the late 1700's.

Lisa Norris

I think that Mary will go all the way to the house with her father, brothers, and John. She is a very persistent girl. I am excited to go on to the next chapter to see what is going to happen next. I wonder if anybody will get caught or if they will get away with it? I also wonder what has gone on between Mary's father and her uncle? Maybe before the war, there was something going on between them. Mary's uncle might even be bitter encough turn Mary and her family in.

Kara Schell

Mary's father and grandfather obviously don't get along that well. They have different opinions on alot of issues. It makes the book exciting when there are family feuds. I wonder when Mary will express her feeling about John Bleeker? You can tell that she love him but does he love her? I hope that he does because it is just what the story needs. When they are on the raid, I bet one of Mary's brothers or John will get killed. It would make the story very exciting.

Kathryn Catterson

The book is very interesting but unfair for Mary. Just because she is a woman, her father is not treating her very fairly on the trip. He decides that she can go to Albany with them to visit her grandmother. Her grandmother is very excited to see Mary and how grown up she is. Her father wants to visit his brother but his father doesn't think that it is a good idea. I think John will ask Mary to marry him and whe will say yes.

Christine Kostyniuk

Meyers' Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Reviews by Mrs. Michaud's Class
Maple Green Elementary School
Surrey, B.C.
Reviews based on reading responses; questions in italics

Change the setting of the book you read. Discuss how this change of events would alter events and effect characters.

In the novel Meyers' Creek the setting is quite an important thing. If I was to change the setting to downtown Vancouver, 1996 the plot events would change quite a bit.

Meyers' Creek takes place in the late 1700's, Ontario in a place which is now called Bellesville. In the setting there were no cars, electricity, or any of today's convenient appliances. Their way of transportation was walking by foot, riding horses, carriages, or by boat. If I was to put cars and large bridges into the setting, then John could have come home right away and he could have been by Catharine's side when she had her first baby boy. Also, he could have helped the two sisters fight the Mississaugas.

Because this did happen, Mary's father became very angry with John Bleecker and he forbid John and Mary to marry, so they had to be wed elsewhere. But, if John had been home, then John and Mary probably would have been allowed to marry, and they would have had a nice wedding with all their family and friends.

As you can see, if the setting in Meyers' Creek was Vancouver, 1996 the story would be completely changed.

Linda Dix-Cooper and Lisa Miller

Create a job application or resume for one of the characters in your novel. Include a cover letter explaining why you ( your character) should be hired. Do this in a letter format.

Mary Meyers
Meyers' Creek
Around 1878
Dear Sir Ben Macintosh,

I am applying for this job as you farmer because I feel that I am fit for this position.

I grew up on a farm so therefore I have had much experience. I am very strong and I enjoy the work. I am capable of planting seeds, p[lowing fields, watering, picking fruit, pulling vegetables, milking cows, collecting eggs, carrying wheat bags, etc.....

I can do everything you will need to have done and extra.

I know that I am a female but please don't hold that against me. I am as strong as any male in my very hard working family.

I will be coming by your house to discuss my letter and this position.

Yours Truly
Mary Meyers

Write two or three diary entries for one of your novels main characters. The entries should focus on a major event in the characters life. Write the entries from the characters point of view. Be sure to express the characters opinions, attitudes and perhaps manner of speaking. Don't just write a summary of the event. 1787 Dear diary
It's my sister's big day . Catharine and John are getting married. I don't know if I should be happy or not, because I still love John. I should be happy for Catharine but inside of me I can't.

When I watched them get married, I knew that John loved Catharine instead of me and it hurt it really did hurt. I didn't even congratulate them, was I a really rotten sister?

1790 Dear diary
Why is this happening to me, my own true brother, Tobias was about to die.

It was because of a gunshot. George was the one that did it, if only that bear hadn't shown up. I know it was an accident. My heart skipped a couple beats when I found out Tobias was shot. The sound of the gunshot keeps repeating in my head.

I saw him laying beside the fire. Tobias was right in front of everyone, was he going to die or not. My tears threatened to pour out. I feel lost, was my life over? I looked down at him, he's dead.........

1791 Dear diary
Catharine has died, after having her second baby. She lost so much blood. So now what I lost one brother and now one sister. I felt mad but then again I felt really really sad. Poor John look what he has to go through. He has two children and no Mother for them.

I miss Catharine so much, I loved her and I knew she loved me to. I helped her through things that she could of never done by herself.

Allison Findlay

What event in your novel came as the greatest surprise or disappointment to you? Describe it and explain your response.

The greatest surprise to me that happened in the novel Meyers' Creek was when Tobias died by getting shot by his brother, George.

When the boys went on a bear hunt, in 1790, to catch a bear after their crops, Tobias was accidentally shot because he was mistaken as a bear. The hazardous hunt happened in the woods where the had followed the bear.

I was surprised because I wasn't expecting anybody to die, especially Tobias. I felt sorry for both Tobias and George. Tobias was suffering and bleeding to death and George must have felt dreadful after shooting Tobias.

Orysia Trafananko

What event in your novel came to the greatest surprise or disappointment to you? Describe it and explain your response. While I was reading Meyers' Creek the greatest disappointment I experienced was when Catharine died after having her second child. I expected her to live and carry on living a peaceful life with John.

Also while reading Meyers' Creek, I was overly surprised when George accidentally shot Tabias. This happened while they were hunting. I didn't expect Tabias to get shot and die. I expected him to live after he was shot, but unfortunately didn't.

Both Catharine and Tabias death came to my surprise. I didn't expect either of them to die.

Ashley Kandert

Write an additional chapter for your novel. In other words, write a short story using the characters described in your novel.

The soft blanket Catharine lay upon was moist with perspiration. Mary stared at the quiet new-born baby in her mother's arms. Something wasn't right. Mary could tell by the deafening silence and the uneasy look in her mother's eyes. Then everything became clear to her, the baby wasn't breathing. Mother quickly sprang to life, clearing the baby's nostrils and mouth and hitting him firmly in the back, desperately struggling for a sound to emerge from the baby's pale lips. When she realized that the small baby boy was lifeless and could not be revived, she placed his limp body on a small knitted blanket and wrapped it carefully around him.

Mary and her mother looked despairingly at one another then walked slowly to where Catharine's unconscious body was lying motionless. Catharine's thin face was a few shades paler and her brow was damp with sweat. Her eyelids suddenly flittered and it was obvious that it took a lot of strength for her to open her eyes. She gave her mother and sister a weak smile, then forced herself to speak.

"Is it a boy or a girl?" She asked softly, closing her eyes again. "It was a boy Catharine," Mary replied quietly, not daring herself to look at her younger sister's face. For she knew that she herself would shed some tears over the loss of a new family member.

Catharine looked confused but then a look of alarm spread across her face as she realized what Mary had just told her. Her smile disappeared, "what do you mean, was?" She asked with a new surge of strength.

"Oh Catharine, I'm sorry! He didn't make it." Their mother said these words softly as her daughter's eyes filled with tears and sorrow. "Can I see him?" She asked. Glistening drops of liquid now spilled over the brim of her eyes. Mary hesitated, but placed the small bundle into her sister's outstretched arms.

Catharine gently took the silent baby's body and lifted a portion of the blue blanket away from him. She sat there, staring at his colorless face and closed eyes for what seemed like eternity. "He's beautiful," she whispered.

Everyone was silent and the only sound that broke through the quiet, dark night was the loud crackling of the fire.

April Vokey

Write 2 or 3 diary entries for one of your novels main characters. The entries should focus on a major event in the characters life. Write the entries from the characters point of view. Be sure to express that characters opinions, attitudes and perhaps manner of speaking. Don't just write a summary of the event.

Dear diary,
A few days ago I stowed away in Fathers carriage. I am now at Lucy Bleaker. We have just arrived back from a party at a friends. I think John likes me! I know George and Tobias both like Lucy but I honestly think Lucy has her hearts set on Tobias.

Dear diary,
Today I write of only mishaps and sorrow. Tobias has been shot. George and him were out trying to slay a bear and when George fired his musket the bear reared to the side and ...... Well it's just to unbearable I can't say it. Things are going to be pretty dull around here without Tobias.

Dear Diary,
George has gone to a friend's house for a while to work for him over there and sort things out. He will be coming back sometime in the spring. Hopefully he will be his oldself again or better.

Larry Eggins

Meyers' Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Review by Minan Abbas
Grade 7, Arthur Ford School
London, Ontario
April 24, 1996

Meyers' Creek tells a story about a family living in the year 1786 . Mary is the second oldest daughter and she loves adventure. She sometimes wishes that she was a boy so that she would go on all sorts of adventures and travel a lot with her father and older brothers. But the book doesn't only tell about Mary. It tells about the family's loss and sorrow when the second oldest son dies when he had gone bear hunting with his older brother. The family's oldest daughter also dies when she had given birth to her second child. Before she had died she made Mary promise that she would take care of her children and her husband. The book ended with Mary marrying her sisters husband against her father's wishes. I realy enjoyed the book because it dealt with real family issues and problems.

Meyer's Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Review by Betsy Sinclair
Riverdale J. Secondary School
Whitehorse Y.T.
May 16, 1996

I found that Meyer's Creek was very interesting and intriguing. I found that you were drawn into the book. I actually found myself crying when Catharine died in child birth.

The book does not really end it just stops and leaves you wondering, I liked that because it leaves some things to your imagination. I think that Connie Brummel Crook did a wonderful job in writing and constructing the story line and plot. But even if I like leaving things to your imagination I am still glad that Ms. Crook added that Mary's father forgives her for marrying John even if she was forbidden to do that.

Meyers Creek by Connie Brummel Crook
Review by Caitlin Moorcroft
Riverdale Junior Secondary
Whitehorse Yukon
May 16, 1996

I think that this was a very well written book. It's about a very close family and their few close friends. This story is set in pioneer times. I really liked the character, Mary, because she tried to start democracy in her home and succeeded, at least enough that no matter what her father said on the trip where she snuck aboard the wagon SHE WOULD NOT GO BACK.

I thought the book was a good choice of reading material because you can learn from it, but it's not boring!! I think this book is best for people in grade 6-10. I would personally like to congratulate Connie Brummel Crook on writing such an insightful book.

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364