________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 14 . . . . March 2, 2007

cover

Stormstruck.

Cathy Beveridge.
Vancouver, BC: Ronsdale Press, 2006.
211 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55380-041-5.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Betty Klassen.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

Jolene's eyes darted to her grandfather's. Something told her that he was harbouring a secret. Her heartbeat accelerated. Was Grandpa suggesting what she thought he was?

"What's that?" she asked, her words steeped in hope.

"What's what?" asked Michael, jumping out of the RV and sensing his sister's anticipation.

"Gramps has found a time crease," said Jolene boldly. Although he hadn't admitted it, she suspected it was true.

"Really?" Michael leapt towards them.

Grandpa hesitated. "Yes," he admitted finally. "I've discovered a time crease."

Excitement electrified the air. A time crease meant that they could time travel! These special creases were created by the energy of disasters—in this case, the Great Storm of 1913. Earlier in the summer, Jolene had accompanied her grandfather through a time crease into 1903, just days before a deadly rockslide in southern Alberta. And in August, she and Michael had visited Halifax in 1917 and been trapped by the chaos resulting from the explosion that had killed thousands. Grandpa had refused even to speak about time creases after that— until now. Jolene studied her grandfather's weathered face."Have you been back?"

He nodded. "Briefly."

 

The deftly woven plot of this time slip fantasy novel brings events from the present into the past and back again as 12-year-old twins, Michael and Jolene, travel through a time crease with their grandfather. I have to admit that I read with some scepticism as they changed into period costumes, took a little used path to the harbor and were transported from present day touristy Goderich, Ontario to Goderich as a Great Lakes shipping port in 1913. While their father is conducting research and making plans to set up a Museum of Disasters, the twins, in the care of their grandfather, divide their time between completing grade seven science projects on the computer in the RV and helping their new found friend, Em, sell toffee and look for her father in 1913 Goderich.

      Cathy Beveridge has effectively used mystery and suspense both in time frames such that we want to keep reading to find out if Jolene will be able to save a stray dog in the present and determine if Em, her 1913 friend, is somehow connected to Marissa, a girl missing from a foster home in the present. The historical characters of Jolene and Michael are so strong and resourceful it is sometimes difficult to accept the present day Jolene who feels lost, directionless, and on the verge of tears after having decided to discontinue gymnastics and not follow her brother in his pursuit of competitive swimming.

      Their last return visit does make use of modern technology to allow them to survive one of the shipwrecks of the Great Storm of 1913 which sunk 19 ships, stranded or beached many others and claimed the lives of 244 sailors.

Recommended.

Betty Klassen teaches language arts and social studies courses at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW | TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - March 2, 2007.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME