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Jaylene Butchart.

Toronto, Seal Books, c1983.
63pp, paper, $2.50.
ISBN 0-7704-1825-2.

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Margaret Marsh.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

Many young people fantasize about becoming a writer ("Someday, I want to write a book."), but seventeen-year-old Jaylene Butchart fulfilled that fantasy with Journey Through a Shadow, which won the Young Canadian Writers Award for 1983.

After the death of his parents, thirteen-year-old Jamie goes to live with his brother and sister-in-law. The move brings changes to the young boy's life: coping with daily living in a rough part of the city and attending a school where students disrupt classes and shun anyone who makes an attempt to succeed academically. Jamie feels lonely and unwanted until Buddy, a little mongrel dog, also lonely and unwanted, enters his life. The young teen reader will empathize with Jamie as he faces difficult situations and has unpleasant experiences, unlike many books of fiction for young people in which the hero or heroine lives happily ever after, and will rejoice as Buddy teaches Jamie that "sometimes you have to fight back to win." In her fast-paced narrative, Miss Butchart carries the reader along to the satisfying conclusion of this powerful and believable portrayal of human emotions and values involving real people in an up-to-date situation.

Margaret Marsh, Waterloo County Board of Education, Kitchener, ON.
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