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Deirdre Kessler
Charlottetown (PEI), Ragweed Press, 1991. 140pp, paper, $6.95
ISBN 0-921556-19-5. CIP

Grades 6 to 9/Ages 11 to 14

Reviewed by Kenneth Field

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Bigfoot Sabotage is the tenth book by Deirdre Kessler. It is a novel that deals with the subjects of the environment, environmental politics and awakening emotions. The story's central characters are Maya and Jake Langhorne, who are both twelve years old, being born within twelve months of each other. As a result of their closeness in age they share many common concerns and interests but also, as in most siblings, there is a small degree of rivalry between them. They live with their parents on land in a mountain valley somewhere on the west coast.

The mountains and the valley that surround their home are covered with primeval forest, which is being threat­ened by logging. The two young people, through a type of telekinetic travel called "dream flying," discover that a mountain close to their home is inhabited by a small family of Bigfoot. The discovery of the family and through that an increased awareness of the age of the surrounding forest make Maya and Jake acutely aware of the environ­mental impact logging will have on the natural habitat. This leads them to take actions against the threat, i.e., the logging company, which they come to regret having carried out.

In this book the author deals very effectively with the issue of direct action against threats to the environment and the usefulness of such actions. She shows through Maya and Jake that there are other methods that can be used to ensure protection of the environment, methods which are pro-active rather than destructive.

Deirdre Kessler has an easy, flowing writing style. The dialogue is natural, not contrived, and her portrayal of life in the Langhorne family with its tensions and pleasures is very well done. The combination of the fantastic, i.e., dream flying and the bigfoot, with reality and the blurring of the line between the two, is handled in a way that lends an air of plausibility to the former. The two young people never lose sight of the fantastic nature of their dream flights or their discovery and the kind of disbelief others might express if told about them. They find a way to convey what they know to others in a form that accommodates the suspension of disbelief.

All in all, this is a thoroughly enjoy­able book with fantasy, adventure, suspense and issues of real, immediate concern combined to make for a good read. Finally, the print is large, legible and very easy to read.


Kenneth Field, Trent University, Peterborough, Ont.
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