CM Archive
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Kit Pearson.
Markham, ON: Viking Kestrel, 1986.
225pp., cloth, $12.95.
ISBN 0-670-80751-6. Distributed by Penguin Canada. CIP.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12

Reviewed by Jo Anna Burns Patton.

Volume 14 Number 4
1986 July

As a librarian in a private all-girls school, I felt a certain familiarity with Kit Pearson's first novel. The setting for this title is a boarding school for girls in Vancouver. Eliza, the main character, is anxious to attend a boarding school, to compare the real thing to what she has read in novels. When her family is transferring from Edmonton to Toronto for one year, it seems a perfect opportunity for her to enroll. Throughout the remainder of the story, we see Eliza involved in various typical situations, from getting used to living with four girls the same age, to adjusting to the daily routine of boarding school. In addition, she has to deal with the problems of pre-adolescence and homesickness, something new for her. One of the pastimes devised by the girls to relieve boredom, and also to test each other, is a game of dares, which get them into various types of mischief, some amusing and some very serious.

On one level, the story is an interesting look at life in a private school, with the almost military routine of daily activities, the necessary wearing of uniform clothes and shoes, and the distinct separation between boarders and day-girls. However on a deeper level, we get a look at the loneliness of girls away from home for the first time, the feeling of rejection experienced by girls whose parents never visit, and the closeness that being in a similar situation can create.

A recommended title for any school library and of special interest to young people going to a new or private school. Pearson has shown remarkable insight into the emotional growth of, young girls.

Jo Anna Burns Patton, E.C.S. School for Girls, Westmount, PQ.
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