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Jack Hodgins. Illustrated by Victor Gad.
Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart, 1988.
126pp., cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 0-7710-4191-8. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Fathers and sons-Fiction.
Community Life-British Columbia-Fiction.
Cartoons And Caricatures-Fiction.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14

Reviewed by Lynne McAvoy.

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

Left Behind in Squabble Bay is Hodgins' first attempt at writing for children.

We are introduced to Alex McGuire who is left with an unsympathetic aunt and uncle for "a couple of years" while his father is off in South America. Through drawing, Alex is able to work out his hurt at being deserted by his father, but it is the drawing that leads to further problems for Alex. One day after he finishes drawing a caricature of everyone in the town with all their imperfections clearly displayed, the picture is found and shown to all the people involved. The rest of the book shows how a misfit can find his own niche by demonstrating his own unique abilities.

The text is beautifully complemented by the illustrations of Victor Gad. He captures the essence of the gawky, timid Alex, the wild-haired Frantic Freda and the Top Banana, the other misfit who had been sent out of town for being different.

Left Behind in Squabble Bay is a book that I would recommend quite highly. I hope to see more children's books by this author.

Lynne McAvoy, Ottawa, ON.
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