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Monica Hughes.
Illustrated by Leoung O'Young.

Toronto, James Lorimer, 1983.
150pp., paper, $12.95 (cloth), $5.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88862690-8 (cloth), 0-88862-689-4 (paper).

Grades 5 and up.
Reviewed by Barbara Conquest.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

Paula Herman has grown up in Toronto believing her father to be dead. When circumstances force her and her mother to move to Edmonton, where Paula was born, she begins to question her origins. Why will her mother not talk about her father? Indeed, why does a closed, blank look come over her face whenever Paula approaches the topic even obliquely? Why are there no pictures of him?

The entrance of Hans, her mother's new boyfriend, into their new Edmonton life precipitates Paula's efforts to find out something about her father, his people, and, as she discovers, her half-Ukrainian origin. An abortive attempt at running away solves nothing, and Paula realizes she must come to terms with her life as it exists, not as she would like it to be.

As always, Monica Hughes writes with a sure eye for authentic detail and produces three-dimensional characters with whom the reader will empathize. In addition, this book provides an excellent fictional treatment of multiculturalism as it exists in the West.

Barbara Conquest, D.S. MacKenzie J.H.S., Edmonton, AB.
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