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Reaney, James.

Erin (Ont.), The Porcupine's Quill, c1986. 172pp. paper. $8.95, ISBN 0-88984-087-3.

Grades 3-6
Reviewed by Grace E. Funk

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

This fine romp with an unlikely family is a book for librarians and story-tellers. Reaney, author of the compelling historical fiction, The Boy with an R in His Hand (Macmillan, 1965) has managed te combine food additives causing hyperactive behaviour. Sasquatches, big business against individual enterprise, child abuse, animal experimentation, break and entry, river-bank erosion due to interfering building, traffic hazards, robots, know-it-all school teachers, and a variety of other ills the (modern) flesh is heir to. into the adventures of the Delahay family. Father is an ex-librarian and would-be rare book dealer; mother is recovering from a nervous breakdown owing to the difficulties of dealing with her six children. Her daughters are reasonable girls, if a bit abstracted by their passion for Enid Blyton adventure books. The five-year-old hyperactive triplets, however, have caused Grandmother to say "never again in my house!" But their own house is falling (falls) into the river. It rests with seventeen-year-old Colin to control his brothers and save the day by. of all unlikely means, story-telling.

It is a tribute to Reaney's skill that we really care about these improbable people and their exaggerated adventures. Shelve it as a welcome addition to Canadian children's literature, if you can keep it away from the students long enough. Read it aloud to delight intermediate grade children.

Grace E. Funk, Harwood E.S., Vernon, B.C.
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