________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 23. . . February 24, 2017


Ice Storm! The Great Storm of 1998. (Survival).

Frieda Wishinsky. Illustrated by Don Kilby.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2017.
108 pp., pbk. & html, $6.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4431-4647-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4431-4648-7 (html).

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Danielle Wing.

*** /4



Ethan glanced up and down the street.

He had to find help. But how could he leave Sylvie and Mrs. Greenbaum in the freezing cold?

A wave of dizziness rolled over Ethan. He stopped to take a breath. Drops of freezing rain flew into his face and eyes, making it hard to breathe. Sharp ice pellets stung like needles against his cheek.


During a severe ice storm in Montreal in 1998, 12-year-old Ethan is faced with his greatest challenge yet when his elderly neighbour breaks her leg and his pregnant stepmother goes into labour. With the power out and ice coating the streets, Ethan must find help. Braving the cold temperatures, he ventures out into the dangerous streets where he quickly forgets his pre teen angst as he switches into survival mode. His first attempt at getting help from a neighbourhood friend fails when he realizes he cannot contact them in their apartment without the electric door buzzer. On his own, he must make his way through the treacherous elements to the main street of town to find help.

     This suspenseful, yet relatable title will engage a wide range of readers. The controlled vocabulary, illustrations and short length will be of benefit to reluctant readers while the story, itself, will draw in readers looking for an exciting realistic read. Ethan’s narrative incorporates the many frustrations of being 12 years-old, and the storm, itself, echoes the tumultuous and unknown territory Ethan is entering as his world shifts and changes with the addition of a new stepmother and a new sibling. Based on true events, Ice Storm! The Great Storm of 1998 will be a winner where the “I Survived” series has been well received, and the focus on Canadian events will make it a strong addition to collections in need of Canadian content. Historical notes found at the end of the book provide context and information for readers looking to learn more about the storm, itself.


Danielle Wing is a librarian in Vancouver, BC.

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.

Next Review | Table of Contents For This Issue -February 24, 2017
CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive