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SIMON JESSE'S JOURNEY

Stan Dragland.

Vancouver, Douglas & Mclntyre, c1983.
120pp, paper, $6.95.
ISBN 0-88899-025-1.


Grades 3-6.
Reviewed by Anne Kirkpatrick.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May


This entertaining fantasy is Stan Drag-land's first novel for children. He has made good use of his experience as a father of young boys and as a teacher of Canadian literature at the University of Western Ontario, to construct a tightly-woven and exciting tale all children would enjoy.

The plot is simple. Our young hero becomes literally that after he is drawn down the plughole to an underground community of rat-like exiles who have been waiting for a deliverer for one hundred years. Simon, somewhat reluctantly, assumes leadership and leads the band on the perilous journey to their promised land. He must then face the dangers of the return trip alone.

The paperback's colourful, arresting cover and large, clear print will appeal to less-than-avid readers, as will its pages of uncluttered action. Dragland has not only created suspenseful settings and fearful dangers to overcome. He has also given his characters sufficient dimension to be real. This quality raises Simon Jesse's Journey well above the standard boys' heroic adventure. Recommended for grades 3-6, both as individual reading and as a fine read-aloud.


Anne Kirkpatrick, Mission Hill E. S., Vernon, BC.
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