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Louise Leblanc
Translated by Sarah Cummins
Halifax, Formac Publishing, 1991. 57pp, paper, $5.95
ISBN 0-58780-090-4. (First Novel series). CIP

Grades 2 to 5/Ages 7 to 10

Reviewed by Patricia LM. Butler.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Our nine-year-old heroine has heard 'That's enough, Maddie!" once too often. She's "too young to be the oldest" of four, she's tired of being blamed for everything, and she's going to run away!

She plans her adventure very carefully - chocolate chip cookies and potato chips in her knapsack, extra sweaters, and sugar to put in the gas tank of the school bus so she can make good her escape. Everything runs according to plan and she finds herself in the freedom of the mall! As it gets later, more faces look strange and she longs to go home, but getting home turns out to be more frightening than leaving it. Finally, she wakes to find that it has all been a dream. She decides it's much easier to be a big sister than a heroine!

Apart from the story-line, the seven-to ten-year-old reader will find this book appealing because of its format. The pocketbook size, the short sen­tences, large print, and accessible language all contribute to the thrilling experience of reading a "grown-up" book from cover to cover. Well-defined chapters, as outlined in the table of contents, provide satisfying stopping places for those that need them.

For those young readers trying to make the jump from picture-books, Marie-Louise Gay's thirteen sparse black-and-white illustrations provide plenty of humorous interest without intruding on the text.

All in all, this is a very satisfying book for the readership at which it is aimed.


Patricia LM. Butler, Scarborough, Ont.
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