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Kit Pearson
Toronto, Viking Canada, 1991. 212pp, cloth, $17.99
ISBN 0-670-84097-1. Distributed by Penguin Books Canada. CIP

Grades 5 to 8 / Ages 10 to 13

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson.

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Early adolescent readers first met Norah Stoakes and her younger brother Gavin in The Sky is Falling. The action of this second novel in a proposed trilogy occurs some three years later during August 1943, as the two "war guests" spend the month at "Gairloch," the Ogilvie summer home in Muskoka, Ontario. Norah, haven turned thirteen, proudly considers herself a teen-ager, but her wartime guardian, "Aunt" Florence, denies this life stage, declar­ing, "... you arc a child until you leave home and then you're an adult."

Actually, Norah occasionally regrets the loss of some childhood activities while dreading a few of the expectations associated with adolescence. In particu­lar, Norah finds the teen girls' boy-laced conversations off putting; however, that attitude disappears when Andrew, Aunt Florence's handsome great-nephew, comes to visit.

Andrew, as adoring Norah comes to discover, is being racked by significant life decisions in which his personal desires are pitted against family expec­tations. While Andrew wishes to be an actor, the "Elders," the adult members of the Ogilvie/Drummond clan, want him to become an engineer like his father. Personally opposed to righting in the war, Andrew is also being pressured to enlist immediately rather than wait to be an officer following university graduation. Although Norah sadly comes to realize that Andrew cannot return her affections, she takes solace from a wartime song's lyrics, "I'll be looking at the moon/But I'll be seeing you."

Pearson superbly and gently cap­tures the welter of emotions that beset a young teen who is experiencing the onset of adolescence and having to cope with its physical and emotional de­mands. Readers will eagerly await the trilogy's concluding volume.

Dave Jenkinson. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.
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