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Margaret Fishback Powers
Toronto, HarperCollins, 1993.106pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-00-647425-X. CIP

Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Edith Parsons.

Volume 21 Number 4
1993 September

In telling the story behind a poem featured on many posters and cards, Margaret Fishback Powers presents an honest, unsentimental and enjoyable autobiography. Powers maintains that the poem was written while she and her future husband were attending a youth church camp, just after they became engaged. The poem echoes Powers' profound belief that God will never abandon those who believe in him. Although "Footprints" was written during a personal turning point, it appropriately re-emerges to guide her through the critical times in her life.

Powers and her late husband dedicated their lives to a Christian youth ministry and worked both in Ontario and in British Columbia. Although Margaret Fishback Powers wrote and published a number of religious poems, "Footprints" has earned her the most notoriety. The original manuscript (along with other personal belongings) was lost during a family move to Vancouver. The poem mysteriously began to surface on plaques, bookmarks, cross stitch patterns, and posters. Although she eventually established her authorship and copyright, Powers decided not to pursue the matter in court. Instead, this book seems to be the author's way of reclaiming her lost work.

Margaret Fishback Powers' strong Christian faith is evident on every page of this book. While some may find the Christian message somewhat overwhelming, others will relish the spiritual tone. As such, this book is recommended, for select audiences.

Edith Parsons is Assistant Manager, Information Division, Edmonton Public Library, in Edmonton, Alberta.
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