________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 40. . . .June 13, 2014


The Race to Save Canada: The Laura Secord Story. (Chugger Mugger Mysteries).

Mickey Maple. [Pseud. of Mike Collier.]
London, ON: Signature Productions, 2011.
60 pp., pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 978-0-9811345-4-3.

Subject Headings:
Secord, Laura, 1775-1868-Comic books, strips, etc.
Canada-History-War of 1812-Comic books, strips, etc.
Secord, Laura, 1775-1868-Juvenile fiction.
Canada-History-War of 1812-Juvenile fiction.
Graphic novels.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Suzanne Pierson.

***˝ /4



The four time travellers decided to split up in their search for Laura Secord. Chipper headed back to the saw mill to look for more clues. Jake, Jo and Chopper started looking for the lost lady in the woods.

“Who exactly is this Laura Secord lady?”

“Laura Secord is a very important person in Canadian history. Weren’t you listening in Mr. Wisson’s history class!”

“Laura Secord overheard some American officers talking about a surprise attack!”

“It was during the War of 1812, and they were going to attack a place called Beaver Dams. That’s when Mrs. Secord decided to quickly rush to Beaver Dams and warn the British soldiers of the attack.”


“The Race to Save Canada: The Laura Secord Story” is part of the “Chugger Mugger Mystery” series written by Mike Collier under the nom de plume Mickey Maple.

internal art     If hugger-mugger means 1. secret, 2. of a confused or disorderly nature: jumbled, ( merriam-webster.com), I’m hypothesizing that chugger mugger means a Canadian secret, of a confused or disorderly nature, jumbled. Add a good dose of Canadian humour, and you have a fun new comic book paperback series.

     The Race to Save Canada tells a jumbled version of the story of Laura Secord’s 32 kilometre walk to deliver some important information to the British during the War of 1812.

     The main characters in the series, Jake, Jo and Chopper (a beaver) have to sort out the truth from misinformation and foil the efforts of the evil villain, the Great Klutzini, who wants to take Laura Secord’s place and become a Canadian hero.

     I admit that the plot isn’t the strongest feature of this book, but I think young readers will read to the end and learn a bit of Canadian history along the way. Also, the main characters experience the importance of cross-checking their facts and learn to have a healthy skepticism for what is presented as fact. This is excellent modelling for young readers. If the facts don’t add up, dig a little deeper.

     In addition to the comic book mystery story, the book includes three pages of information about the War of 1812, Tecumseh, and Laura Secord interspersed through the book.

The War of 1812

The War of 1812 was a war between the United States of America and the British Empire (Canada). The Americans declared war for a number of reasons. Britain and France were already at war with each other in Europe. And the Americans were shipping supplies to France. Britain would capture these ships and take the supplies and this did not make the Americans very happy! Also, the Americans wanted to expand their land but the British supported the many native tribes who wanted to keep their tribes and land and the conquest of Canada didn’t happen!

     I wish there was less use of exclamation points! But overall the book is a fun story wrapped loosely around a significant Canadian history event.

Highly Recommended.

Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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