________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 2 . . . . September 16, 2005


Izzie: Patricia’s Secret. Book Three. (Our Canadian Girl).

Budge Wilson. Illustrated by Heather Collins.
Toronto, ON: Penguin Canada, 2005.
87 pp., pbk., $8.99.
ISBN 0-14-305007-9.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

**** /4

Reviewed from uncorrected proofs.


Suddenly, from downstairs, they could hear the sound of wild crying. Izzie had become used to seeing her mother cry, ever since Mr. Publicover had enlisted in the navy. But she'd never heard sounds like these. Very slowly, Izzie moved toward the stairs, with Patricia following behind her.


Izzie worries about her father's fate on the North Atlantic after he joins the navy to fight the Nazis in 1942. Life is full of changes now that her dad has gone away. She misses her old home in Granite Cove, but she loves living in Dartmouth, with flush toilets, electricity, new friends and constant activity. Izzie feels bad about being excited with her new life, but she enjoys it so much she doesn't feel bad!

     In Book Three of this “Our Canadian Girl” series, Izzie realizes that the only thing that seems constant in her life is change itself. No sooner are Izzie, her mother and younger brother settled in their new home than her mother loses her job. Luckily, Bessie Publicover gets the chance to train as a secretary, and she begins plucking away at the typewriter keys.

     Izzie's personal situation becomes more complicated when the family gets a chance to go back to Granite Cove for the summer. She invites Patricia, a British child who has been sent to Canada for the duration of the war, to come along. Patricia has acted in a standoffish manner towards other children, flaunting her aristocratic heritage, but Izzie senses that Patricia is hiding something and wants to be liked. The truth behind Patricia's veneer is revealed soon after Izzie's family has a crisis over her own dad's fate.

     Budge Wilson has captured the sense of anxiousness and excitement that existed side by side in World War II. People's lives were turned upside down as they moved from country to town, and from the era of lighting lamps to electricity, from fishing on the ocean to fighting on the ocean. For children, such as Patricia, who were separated from their families for years, it was also strange, disruptive and lonely.

     This series grows more interesting with each book. Young readers, while enjoying the growth Izzie experiences as a person, will absorb a lot of knowledge about how people lived and how the war changed their lives.

Highly Recommended.

Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.


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