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Raymond Bradbury.

Toronto, Kids Can Press, c1981.
64pp, paper, $3.95.

Grades 4-6.
Reviewed by Maureen Pammett.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

When class 6P of Bloomfield Public School, Bloomfield, Nova Brunswicka, goes on a two-day class trip to Fort Margaret on Passacook Bay, anything can happen and does! Teachers who have ever had such a trip will sympathize and be amused. Excited and vocal, the thirty youngsters with their teachers and parent volunteers set out to re-enact a 1726 battle between the British defenders of the fort and the privateers. When they arrive they find bikers camping on the beach.

The book itself is written as the project notes of the Project Committee of the class whose duty it is to report on the outing. From the sketch map as the frontispiece to the introduction, "Thanks to our teacher, Mr. Preston, who is not back at school yet and Miss Case who's gone," to the journal entries and to the verbatim tape recorder notes interspersed from time to time with "History Notes from the Government Paper on Fort Margaret," this tale has been very creatively put together. The book should have been a huge success. Somehow, with students, it did not strike the necessary chord. Those who read it expected more to happen and were disappointed. The cover picture showing the bikers chasing two students rather overstated the situation. To an adult, the funniest parts were the letters received from the parents after the trip and the principal's reply. The humour in the letters escaped the children. Because of the unique and creative approach in this first published novel, subsequent books by Raymond Bradbury will be awaited with interest.

Easy to read (a good reader can polish it off in thirty-five to forty minutes!), a motivator because of the bikers lurking in the background, this has a place as a supplementary purchase. Recommended with reservations.

Maureen Pammett, Peterborough County Board of Education, Peterborough, ON.
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