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Barbara Greenwood.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic-Tab Publications, 1984.
185pp., paper, $2.95.
ISBN 0-590-71450-3. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Canada-History-Rebellion, 1837-1838-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Pauline Henaut.

Volume 13 Number 3
1985 May

Barbara Greenwood, winner of the 1981 Vicky Metcalf Short Story Award, has produced a well-written historical novel set in the period of Canada's 1837 Mackenzie Rebellion.

Deborah Wallbridge's problems are only beginning when she finds a young, wounded rebel in the barn while her father and brother are away fighting against Mackenzie. Her loyalty is immediately torn between her family, whose values she understands and supports, and the rebel whose cause seems to Deborah to be justified for many reasons.

The narrative holds the reader's interest from the first chapter in which fugitive Dan begs for Deborah's help, through various suspenseful incidents during which the Wallbridge family tries to help Dan escape to safety and to protect their property, to the conclusion in which Dan, having escaped to the United States, returns several years later to Canada hoping to marry Deborah.

The flavour of life in Upper Canada in the early 1800s is effectively conveyed, and Greenwood has created believable, well-rounded characters. Her skillful use of conversation helps to bring the characters alive and to maintain the suspenseful mood. She has achieved a balance between plot and historical background; within this framework, the theme of torn loyalties is effectively presented.

This is a sturdy paperback, which should withstand circulation. The attractive cover will entice many young readers to begin this entertaining and enlightening novel. it will be useful for both pleasure reading and in conjunction with the study of Canadian history. Recommended for purchase by school and public libraries.

Pauline Henaut, Westville Schools, Westville, NS.
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