CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 22. . . .June 26, 2009
It looks like hot chocolate in the summer and a chocolate milkshake in the winter, but the Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick is also known for its high tides and fast moving water. It would be deadly to be on this river in the middle of winter on a piece of slippery ice that is getting smaller and smaller and heading straight for the ocean. Survival would mean figuring out how to keep warm after the waves have soaked your clothes, and how to stay awake so you don't freeze to death. Twelve-year-old Shawn Mahoney, his nine-year-old brother Craig, and Shawn's best friend Tony know exactly what it's like to be trapped on ice floating down the Petitcodiac River though. They feel cold and scared, and sometimes hopeless- especially when the rescuers fail to reach them. As the boys move further away from land, they have to be resourceful and find ways to keep their spirits up. Shawn uses his inventiveness to keep everyone safe. Tony's sense of humor helps keeps everyone feeling upbeat, and Craig's quick thinking saves their lives more than once. At times, the friends see rescuers trying to reach them, but no one manages to get close enough to pull them to safety. After several failed rescues, when the boys do spot a boat coming their way, they wonder if it's a hallucination. Looking at their rescuers, Tony says, "…it looks like there's a bear driving that boat." It's not a bear heading towards the boys though, but it is an animal that is pretty big and hairy, and he's not alone. Steering the boat is Petra. She is a brave, prepared 12-year-old girl who won't let a clogged-up motor stop her from reaching her destination.
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.