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W. O. Mitchell.

Toronto, Seal Books, c1961, 1982.
184pp, paper, $2.95.
ISBN 0-7704-1771-X.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Elaine Balpataky.

Volume 11 Number 1.
1983 January.

Jake and the Kid is a delightful collection of short stories based on the radio and television series of the same title. It depicts life in rural Saskatchewan during World War II, as seen through the eyes of a young boy.

A central figure in all these stories is Jake, the hired man, who cares for farm and family while father is overseas. Jake rivals Huck Finn for homespun charm, warmth, wisdom, and extraordinary imagination.

The plots concern everyday and special events in the boy's life in the small prairie community of Crocus. The stories can be read individually or as parts of a unified whole.

First published in 1961, Jake and the Kid won the Leacock medal for humour in 1962. This reasonably priced edition would be suitable as an English text. Younger students could identify with the narrator, though colloquial language might pose some initial problems. Older students would enjoy the rich humour and characterizations. Recommended for both classroom and library.

Elaine Balpataky, Ingersoll D. C. I., Ingersoll, ON.
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