CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Godfrey, Martyn.

Don Mills (Ont.), Collier Macmillan, 1987. 89pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 02-947410-8. (Series Canada). CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Janice Foster

Volume 16 Number 2
1988 March

Martyn Godfrey has written numerous books, several of which are included in "Series Canada," These books are intended to generate high interest for adolescent readers with a lower reading level. Teachers' guides for the series are also available.

In Rebel Yell, Dwayne, better known as SC (short for Space Cadet), starts the new school term plagued by problems. Taking SC out of the Educational Opportunity Class program proves to be the vice-principal's method of forcing SC to either behave or face expulsion. On top of this his girl-friend rejects him and he is informed that the leader of the Hell Cats gang is looking for him. Unable to cope, he heads for the local hang-out. There he's told that Willy Boy has just entered the school with a sawed-off shotgun. Earlier that morning SC had run into Willy Boy, who had rambled on about paying people back. The story continues with SC's being knifed by the Hell Cats and, despite a bad wound, preventing Willy Boy from carrying out his threat.

The subject matter of this novel would appeal to some adolescent readers. The need for the violence in the book is questionable. It's a fact that gangs, knifings and even shootings are present in the school system. However, these issues are presented in Rebel Yell only from the viewpoint of one person. The fact that this person is referred to as a space cadet and has been threatened with expulsion weakens the validity of his account of these major crises. His heroics seem television-based and make the plot too contrived and unrealistic in its presentation. Authority, be it that of the school administration or the police, seems lo be undermined. SC is the only character to be developed fully, possibly due to the fast pace and the brevity of the book. The text is in large print and is easy to read, with a great deal of dialogue. It's unfortunate that in order to provide high-interest, low-reading-level material, good literary techniques and language are sacrificed. In conclusion, because of the possible appeal of the subject matter and the easy-to-read format, Rebel Yell would be conditionally recommended for a teacher-guided novel study.

Janice Foster, Winnipeg, Man.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works