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Gillian Richardson
Illustrated by Elizabeth Owen
Halifax, Nimbus Publishing, 1991. 193pp, paper, $8.95
ISBN 0-921054-75-0. NewWaves. CIP

Grades 3 to 5/Ages 8 to 10

Reviewed by Edith Parsons.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Using a predictable plot, Gillian Richardson (One Chance to Win) traces the "migration" of nature-loving Robyn Birchwood from her beloved home on Prince Edward Island to what she initially perceive as a desolate, barren Regina.

After ten-year-old Robyn's father is killed in an accident involving a drunk driver, her mother accepts a new job in Regina. Robyn is reluctant to leave her Island home and friends and finds the transition difficult. Eventually, she becomes friends with Andrew and his blind sister, Jennifer. The three of them share a strong interest in nature. Through Andrew and his naturalist father, Robyn learns about prairie wildlife and eventually realizes that her new home offers a landscape as rich and varied as that of Prince Edward Island. When Robyn must choose between a trip back to PEI and a holiday in the Rocky Mountains with her new friends, she shows unexpected maturity in her decision to turn forward instead of looking toward the past.

Although Richardson's plot is somewhat contrived, she excels in creating a strong sense of place. Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan are both painted in colourful, realistic and vibrant terms. The author's own knowledge and appreciation of wildlife are strikingly evident. Her descriptions of the Island's birds and lupines are balanced by the portrayals of prairie deer and sandhill cranes. This book should appeal especially to nature lovers.

Edith Parsons, Yellowhead Regional Library, Spruce Grove, Alta.
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