________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 18. . . .January 20, 2017


Cure for Wereduck.

Dave Atkinson.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2016.
187 pp., trade pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 978-1-77108-445-1.

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Mary Harelkin Bishop.

** /4



Another boring full-moon night spent at home. Bobby looked out the window and saw the sun had already set. By now, Kathe would be a duck, the rest [of his family] would be wolves, and he was still boring old Bobby, stuck in this boring old farmhouse. It would be a bit more than a year before he turned thirteen and became a werewolf himself, but right now that seemed like forever away.

He heard faint noises from downstairs. A small thump. A rustling.

“Right,” he said out loud. “Wacka.”

Bobby thundered down the basement stairs. He could hear frantic movement from inside Kate’s bedroom.

That duck must really want to go outside, he thought.

“I’m coming, Wacka,” he said as he grabbed the door handle to his sister’s room. “Keep your shirt on…”

Bobby froze in the open doorway. The room was dark, but there was no mistaking the silhouette of a person standing in the kiddie pool. Before Bobby had a chance to scream, the person began to make horrifying sounds of its own.

“WHAH-WHAH!” It screamed in a girl’s voice. “WHAH-WHAH!”

The girl stepped from the pool, dripping dirty pond water on the floor as she rushed to wrap herself in a quilt on Kate’s bed…He turned to the girl. “Wacka?” he said. “Wacka, what happened to you?”


For 12-year-old Bobby, life is boring at times, but not for very long. Every full moon, his whole family is transformed into werewolves, except Bobby and his sister Kate. This transformation includes both parents, Aunt Bea and their grandmother. It also includes a young man, John. The family picked John up when John’s father, Marcus, a family friend, betrayed the family in the first book Wereduck. Marcus put a tabloid journalist hot on their trail, and the family has had to leave their home in New Brunswick. Cure for Wereduck opens as the family settles into their new home in Ontario with Bobby’s Aunt Bea and grandmother. Wereduck refers to Bobby’s sister, Kate, who is transformed into a duck at each full month.

     Kate and John are both looking for something. Kate, wanting a cure to her condition, finds a recipe in her Aunt Bea’s house. Now all she has to do is understand the ingredients and find them. John is searching for answers to his past. He knows he once had a mother, and he is sure his father, Marcus, also a werewolf, has lied to him about incidents in John’s young life. John scours the microfiche in the local library looking for clues to his past and discovers a newspaper article about a wolf grabbing a baby and leaving the distraught mother behind. The mother swears it was a werewolf who grabbed her son. To find his mother, John talks Kate into hopping a train the night of the full moon. Crazy antics follow.

     Cure for Wereduck is best read after having read the first book, Wereduck. There were several instances when this reader couldn’t quite follow what was happening. On numerous occasions during the story, there were references to things that had happened in Wereduck that the reader really needed to know to better understand the story. For instance, who is Wacka, the duck? Where did Wacka come from? How did she become Wacka, the duck who transformed into a girl and whom Bobby found in Kate’s bedroom? Also, how did Kate become a wereduck instead of a werewolf? For that matter, how did the whole family become werewolves? Perhaps this information is in Wereduck.

     The action of the story and mishaps the characters find themselves involved in carry the story. The action is described in slapstick comic fashion which young readers may love to read. The characters are likeable although it would have been nice to know more about them. What are their likes and hobbies? Do they play sports or musical instruments? Are they artistic? How had the whole family gotten the were-wolf/duck syndrome?

     All in all, Cure for Wereduck is slapstick comedy with many silly antics some young readers will enjoy. The idea of werewolves will be enough to draw children to the books.


Mary Harelkin Bishop is the author of nine books and is most well-known for the “Tunnels of Moose Jaw” time travel adventures. Her newest publication is a novel for readers in grades 4 to 6 and is entitled Mistasiniy: Buffalo Rubbing Stone. As well, Mary has published a picture book, Gina’s Wheels which is based on an incident from the life of Paralympic Champion Colette Bourgonje. Mary is currently working as an Instructional Consultant in the area of Literacy for Saskatoon Public Schools.

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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ISSN 1201-9364
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