CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Donald Gale
Illustrated by Shawn Steffler; translated by Anne Thareau and Scott Jamieson

St. John's (Nfld.), Breakwater Books, 1990. 32pp, cloth, $15.95
ISBN 0-920911-82-X. CIP

Grades 3 to 7/Ages 8 to 12
Reviewed by Patricia Cooper.

Volume 19 Number 5
1991 October

Sooshewan is a Beothuk girl, who, like Jan Hudson's Sweetgrass, proves to her family and her community by her courage and selflessness in the face of great adversity that she is no longer a child. Her story is told in a simple yet realistic and action-filled manner.

Sooshewan's small community faces starvation after a long and cold winter. Guided by her dying grandmother's dream, Sooshewan sets out by herself to find her father, who has not returned from hunting.

The wealth of information contained in the text and in the numerous colour illustrations, which effectively expand the text, allows the reader to learn about Beothuk daily life and customs — about their food, houses, clothes, weapons, canoes, art, spiritual beliefs, funeral rites and even games.

Nevertheless, there are no maps, no glossary, and no index. Students wanting more information, such as an explanation of what happened to the Beothuks, will have to turn to other sources. Unfortunately, there is very little information available to children in French. In English there is Ingeborg Marshall's Beothuk of Newfoundland: A Vanished People, published by Breakwa­ter in 1989. It is to be hoped that Breakwater will also have this book translated into French. The two books together would make an excellent study unit.

The book is very attractive and is printed on high quality paper with large, legible print. The translation by Anne Thareau and Scott Jamieson is well done and reads easily.

Highly recommended for francophone and French Immersion students.

Patricia Cooper, Brampton Public Library and Art Gallery, Brampton, Ont.
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