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Produced and directed by Peter Moss
Atlantis Films/Moss Productions/Booky Productions, 1992. VHS cassette, 23 min., $99.00
Distributed by Magic Lantern Communications, #38 - 775 Pacific Rd., Oakville, Ont. L6L 6M4.

Grades 4 to 9 / Ages 9 to 14

Reviewed by Ellen Heaney.

Volume 21 Number 3
1993 May

Many of us have enjoyed the "Booky" books, a series of autobiographical novels by Bernice Thurman Hunter. That Scatterbrain Booky has been made into a well-scripted film by Moss Productions.

Booky is a child of the Depression, with a father who resents having to "go on relief," an older sister who wonders if she should quit school and look for work as a waitress, a mother valiantly stretching not enough food over too many days.

Young Renessa Blitz gives a delightful performance as the main character. She is dark-eyed, droopy-hemmed and full of life. There is something of Cleary's Ramona here and flickers of Anne of Green Gables and her struggles against convention. The latter similarity is strengthened by cameo appear­ances from Gerard Parks (whom we have seen recently as Matthew Cuthbert in the "Anne" television series) and Patricia Hamilton (Mrs. Barry).

The authentic details of family life offered here lend reality to a story which is really about economic and social issues larger than whether Booky deserves government-sponsored school lunches and at what cost to her own self-esteem.

And I know I am getting old (not a child of the Depression, but of the 1950s) when I am cheered by a small episode in which Booky and her friends are excited by the find of - gasp! - a nickel!

Recommended for public library collec­tions and school resource centres.

Ellen Heaney is Head of the Children's Department at New Westminster Public Library in New Westminster, British Columbia.
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