________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 1 . . . . September 1, 2006

cover

The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul. (Marty Chan Mystery Series 2).

Marty Chan.
Saskatoon, SK: Thistledown, 2006.
210 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 1-897235-00-3.

Subject Headings:
Chinese Canadians-Juvenile fiction.
Teasing - Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Jane Bridle.

*** /4

excerpt:

Across both doors, someone had spray-painted multicoloured squiggly lines, spirals and half-finished star designs. In the centre of the graffiti was a message:

GHOUL RULE

The letters were red, outlined with black. "Ghoul" was painted across the left door and "Rule" was on the other one. The words bulged like cartoon tires filled with too much air.

"Who did this?" I asked.

"That's what I'd like to know," a stern voice behind us. We turned slowly around. There stood Principal Henday and he did not look happy.

 

Marty Chan has written another winner in his sequel to The Mystery of the Frozen Brains . (See review in CM Volume IX, Number 2) Ten-year-old Marty, the only Chinese Canadian boy living in the small town of Bouvier, AB, teams up once again with his only friend and ally Remi, a French Canadian trailer park boy. When both the school and Marty's family store are tagged with graffiti, the boys set out to discover the identities of the vandals.

     Marty and Remi are each outcasts both for racial and socio-economic reasons, and Chan deftly portrays the loneliness this situation entails. In his descriptions of various episodes of persecution that both boys suffer, Chan is able to insert some solid tactics for defusing bullies along with insights into the origins of gossip. Readers will want to root for the underdogs who overcome the scorn of their tormentors and earn the respect of their classmates.

     Using their wit and tenacity, Remi and Marty emerge as heroes at the end of the novel. By combining the elements of a mystery, comedy and horror story, Chan has created another solid novel to follow The Mystery of the Frozen Brains which recently won the Edmonton Book Prize.

Recommended.

Jane Bridle is a librarian at Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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