THE TREASURE OF THE LONG SAULT
Volume 11 Number 4.
One of the current popular Canadian writers for young people is Monica Hughes. Described as "a master of juvenile science fiction," (CM X/4 1982 p.232) she proves in this novel that the past can be made as fascinating as the future. Dedicated to "common memories. . . . (that) form a bond between two friendly peoples," this adventure recounts some of the events leading up to the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Two brothers, Jamie and Neil, reluctantly go to spend the summer with their parents in Weaver's Landing, one of the villages moved to a new site because of the expected flooding as a result of the new Seaway dams. Their father is the engineer in charge of the moving and wants to be near the site. There, they quickly become aware of the strange prejudice of the locals against their landlady, Mrs. Me Alpine. This they eventually trace back to events that took place during the Battle of Crysler's Farm over 150 years before.
Determined to find out what really happened so long ago, the boys search out clues that lead to a treasure map. This in turn leads them to look for the treasure chest on the river bed, temporarily exposed because of work on the dams. Using science experiments with water flow as aids, the search is planned and carried out. Suspense is built up through the time constraint of the imminent re-flooding of the river and, of course, through the difficulties and accidents experienced during the search.
There are illustrations, but these add little to the effect of the storyline. The map, though, inserted as a frontispiece, is an interesting and useful addition.
One of the growing number of un-'ashamedly Canadian novels for juniors, this is recommended. Not only does it involve young readers in fascinating events of our past, but it also is a good suspense story. This is suitable for a slightly younger group than are Hughes's science fiction novels.
Maureen Pammett, Peterborough County Board of Education, Peterborough, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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