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Eric Wilson.
Toronto, ON: Collins, 1986.
120pp., paperbound boards, $14.95.
ISBN 0-00223116-6. CIP.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13

Reviewed by Joanne Robertson.

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

Many young readers are already acquainted with the products of Eric Wilson's prolific pen. This is his eleventh published novel. As the child of an RCMP officer, Wilson discovered, and was fascinated by, the many diverse regions in Canada. Many of these locales have become the settings of his novels. Wilson also utilizes his experiences as a teacher of remedial reading. He began writing when he saw a need for stories that would appeal to the reluctant junior high reader.

Set in the northern interior of British Columbia, The Unmasking of 'Ksan takes the reader into the "living museum" of 'Ksan. Inherent to the story is Wilson's respect for native culture and customs. In order to perform a centuries-old dance for tourists at 'Ksan, Dawn borrows an ancient Raven Mask from the museum. The mask is stolen from her. Dawn and her friend, Graham attempt to recover it. Together, they try to unravel the mystery surrounding the theft of the mask, and in doing so, they also discover more about themselves.

The Unmasking of 'Ksan reads like an hour-long TV detective show: a fastpaced, who-done-it mystery, with lots of action and death-defying situations. The reader's attention is captured immediately. Clues are given throughout. Suspicion is cast upon one character, then another. But the real criminal is not revealed until the last pages. Eric Wilson strives to excite children about reading and about Canada. The Unmasking of 'Ksan is sure to help him accomplish these goals.

Joanne Robertson, Dauphin, MB.
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