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Lyn Cook.
Toronto, ON: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1990.
148pp., cloth, $18.95.
ISBN 0-88619-292-7. Distributed by Key Porter Books. CIP.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up

Reviewed by Anne Louise Mahoney.

Volume 19 Number 2
1991 March

Set in New France in the mid-1600s, The Hiding-Place is the story of twelve-year-old Justine and her younger brother Denis. After running away from their cruel guardian, the two manage to survive by hiding in a cave and scrounging for food. When they save the life of an injured Indian boy, he repays them by supplying them with food and teaching them useful skills. As autumn sets in, however, Justine realizes that they cannot stay in the cave much longer. An unexpected rescuer appears, saving Justine and Denis from the wilderness and their guardian, and revealing the true identity of the Indian boy.

Lyn Cook deftly handles the relationship between the French and the Indians, providing a balanced view of one group that has received a lot of bad press from historians. Considerable description of life in New France at this time adds to the authentic flavour of the novel. Major characters come alive, and the plot is full of suspense and adventure. The author, who has numerous books for young people to her credit, has successfully recreated an important part of Canada's past in this gripping tale.

The Hiding-Place can simply be enjoyed as a good story, or may be used as a supplement to a Canadian history course. Although the book would have benefited from a historical note to put it in context for the reader, it is a solid contribution to Canadian historical fiction.

Anne Louise Mahoney, Ottawa, ON.
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