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Ken Roberts.
Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1987.
87pp., paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-88899-059-6. CIP.

Subject Heading:

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10

Reviewed by Jo Anna Burns Patton.

Volume 15 Number 6
1987 November

Pop Bottles is the story of twelve-year-old Will who lives in Vancouver during the depression with parents who move to a different house every few months. Will's favourite pastime is playing with his bolo bat. (For those too young to remember, the bolo bat is a wooden paddle attached to a thin piece of elastic with a rubber ball on the end.) The story gets really exciting when Will's family moves into a house whose front walk is made up of sunken pop bottles, each worth a two cent deposit. When Will catches the local bully stealing his pop bottles, he challenges him at the bolo bat contest.

Throughout the story we meet some really zany people, from Will's nomadic parents to Will's friend Ray, who always wears a dress shirt, bow-tie, and sweater for school and for play. When we meet Ray's parents we discover the secret behind the sweaters. Then there's Lori who presents Will with his greatest challenge.

This is a delightful story that adds a hint of humour to growing up during the depression. For those of us familiar with Ken Roberts from his Crazy Ideas ¹, this is another example of his excellent storytelling skill and his ability to create characters who come alive for young readers.

Jo Anna Burns Patton, ECS School for Girls, Montreal, PQ.

¹ Reviewed vol. XIII/I January 1985, p.l6.

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