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UP TO LOW

Brian Doyle.

Vancouver, Douglas & Mclntyre, c1982.
116pp, paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-88899-017-0.


Grades 8 and up.
Reviewed by Donna O'Connor.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.


Aunt Dottie puts a bottle of Lysol in the knapsack: "Be sure to wash any berries you pick in this, before you eat them." Frank has bought a new car for the trip. "Took hours to go the forty miles to Low because he stopped at every bar and hotel along the way." Mean Hughie is the meanest man in the Gatineaux. "Rumour has it, he's got the cancer and is threatening to die." Baby Bridget is Hughie's oldest kid. "Had half her arm cut off in an accident with Hughie's binder."

These and several other colourful characters people Brian Doyle's latest novel for young people Up to Low. Tommy's visit sparks memories in him and questions about relatives and people in the area. He renews a friendship with Baby Bridget. The two develop a closeness and maturity on a late night search for the cure of Bridget's arm and the location of her missing father, Mean Hughie.

Written in the first person, the story has an immediacy that keeps you involved in the unpredictable plot. Divided into four parts, the story covers a lot of background information while creating a dilemma Tommy has to help resolve.

The print is large so the book is a fast read. A list of characters at the end helps keep everyone straight. This should be a popular book with students in grade 8 and up, especially with reluctant readers.


Donna O'Connor, Martensville H.S., Martensville, SK.
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