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Martyn Godfrey
Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic Canada,
1993. 140pp, paper, $4.50, ISBN 0-590-73082-7. CIP

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12

Reviewed by Jennifer Johnson

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

With  Meet You in the Sewer Martyn Godfrey has created a grab-bag of adolescent  angst, peer stresses, parental expectations, a personal quest against fear of the dark, and actual physical danger!

Godfrey begins the book with a note from the teacher adviser of the writing club at John Allen Watson School, ever after known as "JAWS," in which she explains that the following text was written by club member JB Lunn. Beginning the book this way provides Godfrey with the perfect vehicle for the subsequent "attitude" and vocabulary of his main character. Godfrey excels at this type of atmosphere/character melange and proceeds to racket along with a plot full of action and challenge.

JB Lunn, grade 8 student at JAWS, tells us first about his fear of the dark and then plunges into a confrontation with his father. J B is told rather than asked to walk newcomer and lowly grade 6 student, Erin, to school. JB complies, but tells Erin in no uncertain terms that he doesn't want anything to do with her. Events and Erin herself conspire gainst JB and they are soon very much together on a scavenger hunt try-out, a sewer exploration, and then a building fire. The story is resolved quickly and, in the case of the parent interest, unrealistically, but this does not deter from the appeal of the tale.

Meet me in the Sewer is marketed as a "JAWS Mob" book, presumably one in a series about these Toronto students. Based on this first sampling, these books will appeal to a middle school audience as well as younger adolescents reaching up to an attractive age group.


Jennifer Johnson works as a children's librarian in Ottawa, Ontario

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