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Jose Plourde
Illustrated by Doris Barrette; translated by Frances Morgan
Waterloo (Que.), Quintin Publishers, 1994. 96pp, paper, $5.95
ISBN 2-89435-015-5. CIP

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Linda Holeman

Volume 22 Number 5
1994 October

Oliver lives in Montreal, and loves many things Mount Royal, the house he and his parents share with his grandmother, photography, camping with his best friend Frankie Do, and Marie Pasedano, a girl in his school. His eleven-year-old life is a series of small but exciting adventures, from learning an important secret about his grandmother's past to having a chance to photograph Montreal's Tour de 1'Ile bicycle rally. Nicely shown is Oliver's sensitivity, especially in his relationship with his grandmother, who is depressed after her forced retirement.

The language in this fifth title in the "Junior Nature" series is age-appropriate and lively, although there are a few annoying changes of viewpoint. The intermittent appearance of Rusty, a cat who is the grandmother's nemesis, seems contrived and unnecessary in this otherwise fast-moving and charming little novel.

Oliver's Great Loves, with its good descriptions of life in multicultural Montreal, a well-rounded protagonist, and quirky, comic illustrations, is a casual light read for the middle grades.

Linda Holeman, a former elementary teacher, now writes full-time in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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