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Edited by Marilyn Chapman. Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, c1985. 133pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 0-13-960485-5. CIP

Grades 9-10
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby

Volume 14 Number 1
1986 January

In her preface, editor Marilyn Chapman writes: "Windows and Mirrors is a two-volume anthology of Canadian short stories intended for secondary-school students across the country." In this, volume one, the stories are intended for "students with a wide range of abilities in grades nine and ten" and were selected on the basis of "content appeal." Other criteria used in the selection of the stories included "language"; "teachability"; "variety of genres, styles and tones"; "geographical representation"; and a balance of male and female "authors and protagonists." The thirteen stories that met these standards, and the final student assessment that they be "a good read," are indeed excellent. Perhaps the best of all is Alice Munro's "Boys and Girls," but WP. Kinsella's "LarkSong"and Rudy Wiebe's "Tudor King" are not far behind. Other authors represented in volume one include: Colleen Archer, Joyce Barkhouse, Morley Callaghan, Hugh Garner, Elizabeth Kaufman, Farley Mowat, Alden Nowlan, Geraldine Rubia, Merna Summers, and Michel Tremblay. The editor has included "Biographical and Critical Notes" to provide more information on both the better and the lesser known in this group.

All the stories, with the exceptions of Tremblay's gothic tale, "The Hanged Man," and Parley Mowat's animal story, "The Woman and the Wolfe," present life-like, youthful protagonists, tell interesting, if not gripping, stories, introduce topics of interest to teens, and effectively reproduce the mainly rural settings.

The book is well bound, and the print large and clear. I would highly recommend this text to all librarians, curriculum committees, and department heads. However, before purchasing this text for the school unit, someone should question the premise that includes in one short volume stories intended for "general nines, advanced nines, general tens, advanced tens... ."The problem, obviously, is that most "general nine" teachers want an anthology of Canadian short stories for "general nines," not one that includes many stories that they will not be able to teach meaningfully. The editor's own comment that "It is not assumed that all of the stories in either volume will be suitable for any 'one' class," delineates the serious, but not insurmountable, classroom limitation of this excellent collection of Canadian short stories.

Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks S.H.S., Summerside, P.E.I.
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