________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 9 . . . .December 21, 2007


Hurricane Power. (Orca Sports).

Sigmund Brouwer.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2007.
166 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-865-8.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4



"Come on, " he said. "You don't want to be doing that, man." He had a thick accent. I thought the words sounded cool the way he said them: Chun doan wanna be dunne dat, mon.

"Doing what?" I asked, still thinking about the way he spoke and wondering if I could mimic the accent for my hockey buddies back home the next time I called.

Then I noticed his eyes were bugging out. I had unintentionally pointed my water pistol at his stomach. That answered my question. He didn't want me to point the gun at him.

"Oh," I said. "This?"

I brought it up to show him that it was only a water pistol. Now it pointed at his chest.

"What you want, man? I got no money. No drugs. Or is this some kind of Black Rose thing?"

Once again I was impressed by his accent. I rolled that sentence around in my mind, liking the sound of it. Maybe I would try to talk like him tonight at dinner when I told my parents and brother about this. After I gave the water pistol to my brother.

The kid brought his hands up. Then I realized I shouldn't be trying to imitate his voice in my mind. He thought this was a stickup. Like at gunpoint.

"No," I said, waving the water pistol, "you don't get it. This is a –"

He didn't give me a chance to finish. He snaked his right hand into his jacket pocket and pulled out a wad of bills.

"Okay, okay," he said. "This is all I got. Take it. Just don't shoot."

Then my eyes bugged out. This was getting serious all of a sudden. "You don't understand–" I began.

He tossed the money on the pavement near my feet.

I glanced down as the bills scattered. I looked up.

He was already backing away from me.

I had just robbed someone at gunpoint!


Hurricane Power tells the story of David Calvin and his move with his family from Wawa, a small northern town in Ontario, to Miami, Florida. On his second day, while out buying a water pistol as a birthday present for his brother, he mistakenly holds up another boy at gun point. After throwing his money at David's feet, the boy runs, and David gives chase only to have the police also follow in hot pursuit. This is only his second day. As David tries to find the boy to return his money, things get more and more complicated as the Black Roses, the local gang, also begin to look for David.

     Sigmund Brouwer succeeds in adding humour to lighten a couple of very serious subjects, ranging from immigration to gangs. The main character, David, is also a young man trying to fit in and reconnect with his family. He faces all the challenges that moving to a new place brings. He wants desperately to fit in and believes that if he runs for the school team he might, and, in the worse case scenario, will succeed in maybe impressing Jennifer Lewis, the track coach's daughter. The title alludes to not only how fast David can run but also how running overpowers all of David's thoughts and worries.

      Hurricane Power is an easy read that is not only enjoyable but a page turner.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the principal of St. Francis School in Harbour Grace, NF.

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

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