CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 40. . . .June 13, 2014
“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.
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.
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.
Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
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