CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 1 . . . . September 1, 2006
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.
Jane Bridle is a librarian at Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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