________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 41. . . .June 22, 2016


Slide. (The Seven Prequels).

Norah McClintock.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
182 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1167-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1168-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1169-0 (epub).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Kay Weisman.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.




The air turned white. Visibility plummeted. I saw the mountain, and then I saw air filled with snow, rising instead of falling and pushing outward, farther and farther, snow as blast debris, snow propelled outward with the blast wave until Annie slicing across the slope was Annie half visible through a blizzard of snow before she disappeared completely in thickening clouds of white.

My heart slammed to a halt in my chest, and I couldn’t breathe while I waited for the snow to settle. It seemed to take forever before the blanket of snow thinned to a fog and then to a mist. Suddenly the air was as clear as glass again. I stared out over the expanse of mountain where only a minute before I had been watching Annie describe a graceful downward swoop. Nothing was the same. Up near the top of the mountain I saw the crown of the slide—the place where a slab of snow had been jarred loose by the blast. I saw the slab’s now-empty bed, and below that, the path the slab had taken as it shot downhill at 130 kilometers an hour, like a freight train, picking up more snow and ripping up, bowling over or burying everything in its path.

And at the bottom of the slope, I saw the runoff. The place where all that snow and all that debris had finally come to rest.

It was deathly silent.

There was no sign of Annie.


In this prequel to Close to the Heel (Seven: the Series) and its sequel, From the Dead (The Seven Sequels), 14-year-old Rennie is looking forward to spending a couple of relaxing weeks with Grandma while his father, aka The Major, is overseas on assignment. Rennie expects to be at home and at school (as The Major dictated), but Grandma tells him to pack quickly because they have reservations at a ski resort in California. The trip is great fun at first until Grandma injures her ankle on the slopes, reducing her presence to dinner conversations. On his own, Rennie makes friends with Annie, a young Harvard-bound woman who works in the resort’s kitchen. Complications set in when Annie’s uncle arrives, demanding she quit her job and move back to India to be with her grandmother. It’s clear to Rennie (although not necessarily to Annie) that Uncle Raj is not being completely honest, but the truth is murky. In an exciting climax, someone determined to get access to Annie’s trust fund lures her to an area where an avalanche is planned (see the excerpt above), resulting in a horrible “accident”.

      McClintock’s strengths here are fast-paced storytelling, attention to setting and skiing details, and the leisurely pace at which the author reveals clues and red herrings. Parts of the backstory concerning Rennie’s mother’s death and the reasons he feels responsible are also revealed, which should be pleasing to fans of the other Rennie Charbonneau stories. Slide stands alone, but readers will also be drawn to the sequels as well as the other titles in these popular series.


Kay Weisman works as a youth services librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library and chairs the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada’s Information Book Award.

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

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