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Perkyns, Dorothy
$9.95 Hantsport (M.S.), Lancelot Press, 1994.177pp, paper,
ISBN 0-88999-547-8. CIP

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12

Reviewed by Margaret Mackey

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November / December

This book is a tightly plotted, carefully controlled adventure story, which hangs to-gether well if you are prepared to be generous about coincidences.

This World War II story begins in northern England and moves with its fourteen-year-old evacuee heroine to Halifax. Pamela, holiday-ing with grandparents on the moors near Manchester, uncovers the sinister activities of a landgirl acting as a German spy. When Pamela is evacuated to Canada and is delayed by illness in Halifax, her adventures continue.

There's a real wealth of information here. All facets of theatrical production from the selection of a script to the seating of the audience on opening night are carefully, clearly and easily explained for young readers. The juxtaposition of fact and fiction isn't a problem. Either part can be read alone. Bill Slavin's colourful, realistic paintings are pleasantly full of detail.

The plot in this book is not overly plausible, but the author compensates by careful attention to detail. Loose ends are sorted out almost by the chapter. Each individual incident is conceivably possible and you are persuaded to suspend disbelief just a little bit longer. The result is a book which will engage those young readers who like adventure and mystery. Both Lancashire and Halifax are meticulously described, and the detail of wartime daily life is interesting.

This book certainly discounts a prejudice I entertained as a child, that adventures always happened somewhere else. The historical sense of Canada's involvement in the war is a bonus for adults; children will enjoy the lively events and the self-possessed heroine.

Margaret Mackey is a Ph.D. student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta

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