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Stella Goulet

Montreal, Editions Quebec/Amerique, 1990. 124p, paper, $6.95
ISBN 2-89037-498-X. (Litterature jeunesse) (Contes pourtous, 10). CIP

Grades 3 to 8/Ages 8 to 13
Reviewed by Patricia J. Cooper.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Stella Goulet has written and pro­duced approximately twenty short films that evoke the sunny atmosphere of the summer holidays and in which children hold a special place. Pas de repit pour Melanie is adapted from her first feature film produced by Rock Demers and Jean Beaudry.

This is an action-filled mystery adventure that will grab children's attention from the beginning to the end. Melanie gets a surprise when she invites her pen-pal to visit; Florence is black. She brings Melanie a gift, Saint-Exupery's Little Prince, which inspires Melanie in an unexpected manner and has significant consequences for the rest of their lives.

The central theme concerns the need to foster understanding among people of all ages and races. This novel will touch students as it speaks eloquently against the isolation of the elderly and against racism.

This novel would be excellent for use in French Immersion programs alone or in combination with the film. The narrative follows the film closely; the scenes are short and easy to read in sections. The vocabulary is contempo­rary. The action is quick paced, exciting; and amusing. Characterization is good: the main characters come across as interesting, complex people with real strengths and weaknesses.

Highly recommended.

Patricia J. Cooper, Brampton Public Library, Brampton, Ont.
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