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Cecil F. Beeler
Red Deer (Alta.), Red Deer College Press, 1993. 174pp, paper, $8.95
ISBN 0-88995-099-7. Distributed by Raincoast Books. CIP

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14

Reviewed by Gillian M. Noonan

Volume 21 Number 6
1993 November

Corinne Kragh is a young girl living on the edge of the prairies in the 1930s with her parents and her horse. A neighbour boy suggests to her one day that a "somebody" will soon be arriving at her house. Corinne cannot believe that her mother is going to have a baby, because there is no room for another person in their small house.

Instead of asking her mother directly if there is going to be a new addition to their family, Corinne ponders what will happen to her. Will her father need her any more if she has a brother? Where will she sleep? Coping with raging blizzards and looking after the animals in her father's absence have never been as hard on Corinne as this news. But as the time for the baby's arrival draws near, Corinne is forced to realize that the real problem she must overcome is growing up.

No Room in the Well, the sequel to The Girl in the Well1, is something more than just another story of growing up. Beeler has sensitively re-created the world of an adolescent in the 1930s. Corinne is a unique female character who has accepted life without feeling defeated by the hardships. Through her inner questioning and her conversations with her reflection in the well, Corinne's struggle to find her place becomes the reader's predicament as well.

This is an excellent novel for adolescent readers. It is filled with everyday life but contains moments of high drama and suspense, poignancy and laughter.

Highly recommended for upper elementary grades.

Gillian Martin Noonan is a teacher-librarian living in Old Perlican, Newfoundland.
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