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Jules Verne.

Toronto, NC Press, c1982.
311pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-919601-86-3.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by JoAnna Burns Patton.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

In 1889 Jules Verne published Famille Sans Norn, a fictionalized account of the 1837 conflict in Lower Canada. However, it was not until 1970 that the first Canadian edition appeared, in French. Now Edward Baxter, native of Prince Edward laland and former Poet Laureate of North York, has produced an English translation of this work.

Set in 1837 amid the events leading up to the final confrontation on Navy Island, the story revolves around a young rebel, Jean Sans Nom, whose father was a traitor to the cause. As a result of his father's actions, Jean and the rest of his family, dedicate their lives to the restoration of freedom of French Canada and of trying to assuage the guilt of their father's actions.

Although this particular family did not exist, the events leading up to skirmishes in St. Denis and St. Charles between British soldiers and supporters and French Canadian patriots did, and Verne has embellished the account with some actual names and facts. However, although important names like Lord Gosford, Sir John Colborne, and Colonel Gore, all part of the British forces in Lower Canada, are mentioned, other names, like William Mackenzie, who played a major part in the 1837 skirmish, are not. Consequently, any student of Canadian history would do well to remember that this is a fictionalized account of a particular time in history.

As a novel, this work rates as a good read, not only for lovers of history but also for those curious about additional works by Jules Verne. A recommended purchase for school or public libraries who are developing a well-rounded young adult fiction collection.

JoAnna Bums Patton, Cote St. Luc P. L., Cote St. Luc, QC.
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