________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 11. . . .November 12, 2010


Terrific Tuesday.

Wendy Vale.
Vancouver, BC: Gumboot Books, 2009.
169 pp., pbk., $12.99.
ISBN 978-1-926691-05-3.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Ruth McMahon.

*** /4



Just then I heard the voice of my teacher, Ms. Weaver, floating out to us through the slightly open door of our sixth grade classroom. "That's what I'm telling you. It's all gone. All eight hundred dollars, stolen right from my desk drawer. I just can't believe it. What am I going to tell my students?"

MaryAnn and I stared at each other, wide-eyed. She lowered her hands from my mouth and we tiptoed closer to the door.

"Who knew about the money in your desk?" It was the gravelly voice of our principal, Mr. Jamison.

"My students did, but none of them would have taken it. I'm sure of it. Besides, the drawer is always locked."

High heels clicked along the next corridor and drowned out Mr. Jamison's reply.

"Uh-oh," Mary Ann whispered. She sprang to her feet.

I tossed my bike helmet onto the coat rack and gave her a push. "Let's go."


The excerpt above is the opening scene which launches Tuesday and MaryAnn on their series of adventures which set them on the trail of the missing money. The plot moves along at a good pace which will keep readers turning pages. There is the odd plot move which seems unlikely, for example: Tuesday's highly protective mother (she insists Tuesday carry a walkie-talkie with her whenever she is away from the house) allows her to have her birthday party at the roller rink without her mother in attendance. This scene sets up the scenario which takes Tuesday and MaryAnn into the greatest danger. This situation ultimately leads to the recovery of the money, and the guilty party is revealed. The notion of a class travelling to, paying for accommodation and tickets to Cirque de Soleil on an $800.00 budget (having just purchased tickets for my own family to attend) also requires a bit of a stretch of the imagination. But, for the intended audience, these plot moves will likely not detract from the fast paced action.

      The characters are believable, engaging when required and repugnant by turn. Based on my current occupation as the mother of a daughter in sixth grade, the dialogue, activities and reactions are believable for the age and situation: bullying, friendship, ingenuity, athleticism.

      I found this to be an easy read, great for a vacation, or for a reluctant reader. I would recommend Terrific Tuesday for school and public libraries.

      Terrific Tuesday is nominated for a "Word Guild Canadian Christian Writing Award."


Ruth McMahon is a professional children's librarian working in a middle school, the co-chair of the Rocky Mountain Book Award and the mother of two children.

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

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